North Korean Hackers Allegedly Funnel Billions in Crypto to Advance Ballistic Missile Program

July 21, 2023.

North Korean state-sponsored hackers are reportedly behind a series of cryptocurrency thefts, accumulating over $3 billion in the past five years. The illicit funds are suspected to be channeled into advancing the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea’s ballistic missile program. The hackers employ sophisticated tactics, including assuming false identities and exploiting security vulnerabilities, as revealed by The Wall Street Journal. Recent cyber attacks against central crypto infrastructure worldwide, such as the FTX Exchange hack, have raised concerns, with Anne Neuberger, US President Biden’s deputy national security adviser, highlighting a surge in such incidents. The James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies notes a continuous escalation in these attacks since 2018, coinciding with an increase in North Korea’s missile testing activities. The intersection of cybercrime and geopolitical agendas continues to pose significant challenges to global security.

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