Daily Management Review

Cyber Attacks Used By North Korea To Steal $2bn For Weapons: Reports


Cyber Attacks Used By North Korea To Steal $2bn For Weapons: Reports
Cyber attacks had been used by North Korea to steal $2 billion to fund its weapons program, claimed reports citing a leaked report of the United Nations.
The report claimed that the banks and crypto-currency exchanges were targeted by official hackers from Pyongyang for collecting money. The reports further claimed the 35 cyber attacks were being investigated by the UN.
On Thursday, two more missiles were launched by North Korea which was the fourth such launch by the country within just two weeks. The missile launches were conducted to warn against the joint military exercises being carried out by the United States and South Korea, said North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un said in a statement on Wednesday. The military exercises have been defined by Pyongyang to be a breach of the existing peace agreements. 
Pyongyang "used cyber-space to launch increasingly sophisticated attacks to steal funds from financial institutions and crypto-currency exchanges to generate income", says the leaked report which was sent to the UN Security Council's North Korea sanctions committee, according to reports.
Cyber-mining activities, wherein powerful computers are used to create virtual currencies, that were aimed to bring back foreign currencies to North Korea are also being investigated by experts, said the reports.
Cyber attacks against crypto-currency exchanges by North Korea allowed the country to "generate income in ways that are harder to trace and subject to less government oversight and regulation than the traditional banking sector", the US report added, according to the media reports.
North Korea had also gained access to weapons of mass destruction as well as engaged in illegally transferring good ship-to-ship transfers - both of which were done in violation of the UN Sanctions on the rogue country, said the UN report.
According to the sanctions imposed by the United Nations against North Korea in 2006, the rouge country has been banned from importing and exporting exports including coal, iron, lead textiles and seafood. A cap on imports of crude oil and refined petroleum products had also been placed on the country under the UN sanctions.
Last year, an assurance was given by Kim Jong-un to the United States President Donald Trump in Singapore during a summit that all forms of nuclear testing would be stopped by his country. Further, a pledge to not launch intercontinental ballistic missiles was also made by Kim.
There was however no agreement between Kim and Trump in a second summit that was held in Hanoi in 2019. And even though both the countries have been saying that diplomacy is what they want to engage in still, have virtually been no talks on denuclearization since then.
"We call upon all responsible states to take action to counter North Korea's ability top conduct malicious cyber activity, which generates revenue that supports its unlawful WMD and ballistic missile programmes," said a US state department spokeswoman to the Reuters news agency in response to the UN report.

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