Reports claim North Korea hacked $ 1.7 billion worth of cryptocurrency on exchanges, and experts say Pyongyang takes a long time to sort through tokens rather than immediately exchanging them for cash.
Per Newsis and Chosun, citing statements released by the U.S. Attorney General, North Korean hackers conspired with other money laundering criminals to steal crypto assets from at least three virtual asset exchanges before money laundering.
Citing data from an American analytical company Chainalysis and South Korean Asan Institute for Policy Studies (a leading international think tank), the reports clarify that at least three notable cryptocurrency exchange hacks have been directly linked to North Korea. namely the Slovenian platform hack in 2017, the Indonesia raid in 2018 and the New York hack in 2020.
South Korean authorities also accused Pyongyang of attacking the internal platform Bithumb in 2017 . American experts also blamed Pyongyang for the attack on KuCoin on the amount of 281 million dollars while Seoul says the North was behind two devastating 2017 attacks on South Korean cryptocurrency exchange YouBit , which was forced to close after the second break-in.
In 2018, Seoul and Washington-based experts said Pyongyang trained a group of at least 20-30 elite cyber warriors, instructing them to attack Western and Western allied cryptocurrency targets with impunity.
But while some accuse North Korea of using its allegedly malicious cryptocurrency funds to pay for weapons programs, others are unsure about this and suggest that North Korea Korea really can hide your funds, at least for now.
According to Koh Myung Hyun, a senior fellow at the Asan Institute for Policy Research:
Considering the fact that the price bitcoin (BTC) has grown more than 60 times since 2017, when North Korean hackers began to seriously hack cryptocurrency exchanges, North Korea is using stolen cryptocurrency in terms of long-term investments. For North Korea, cryptocurrency has become the only financial asset that can be purchased while it is under tough economic sanctions and [признает ее ценность] for purposes related to the evasion of sanctions.
However, the North is allegedly not ready to sit on its crypto-cache forever, and experts from South Korea argue that the last problem that North Korean hackers face is to liquidate the crypto assets they have stolen.
According to them, after converting the tokens into cash, North Korea wants to use the money to build a long-awaited coastal tourist attraction – the planned Wonsan Kalma tourist area (the details of which were first revealed in 2014), as well as a new flagship. general hospital in the capital.
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