UN probes $3B North Korean cyberattacks on crypto firms: Report

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The United Nations is reportedly set to publish documents detailing its investigation later in February or early March.

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UN probes $3B North Korean cyberattacks on crypto firms: Report

The United Nations (UN) is reportedly investigating hacking groups tied to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) for orchestrating cyberattacks on cryptocurrency firms over six years, amassing profits of approximately $3 billion.

According to a recent Reuters report citing unpublished UN documents, an independent sanction committee is overseeing the investigation into the DPRK-linked hacking groups. 

The groups allegedly targeted 58 crypto-related firms to aid their weapon of mass destruction (WMD) development work between 2017 and 2023.

“The panel is investigating 58 suspected DPRK cyberattacks on cryptocurrency-related companies between 2017 and 2023, valued at approximately $3 billion, which reportedly help fund DPRK’s WMD development.”

The UN is reportedly expected to release a published report of its findings within the next two months.

DPRK hacking groups have faced scrutiny for the alleged crypto losses from hacks in recent times.

In 2023, Chainalysis estimated that the hacking groups stole approximately $1 billion worth of crypto from 20 hacks. 

However, there was a significant decrease compared with 2022, when crypto losses from North Korea-linked exploits amounted to $1.7 billion across 15 hacking incidents.

In 2023, we estimate that the total amount of crypto stolen by North Korea-affiliated hackers is slightly over $1 billion, and the number of hacks rose to 20. pic.twitter.com/HoeIPIuPA7

— Chainalysis (@chainalysis) January 24, 2024

Blockchain intelligence firm TRM Labs forecasts that this year will see even more significant damage from hacking groups, as their attack methods are expected to advance beyond those of previous years.

“Despite notable advancements in cybersecurity among exchanges and increased international collaboration in tracking and recovering stolen funds, 2024 is likely to see further disruption from the world’s most prolific cyber-thief.”

Related: Crypto hack losses declined 51% in 2023: Report

Meanwhile, Cointelegraph recently reported that the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime has warned that crypto is being misused in illicit economies developing in East and Southeast Asia.

It highlighted poorly regulated or illicit casinos and “pig-butchering” romance scams that have seen major growth in the Mekong region.

Magazine: DeFi’s billion-dollar secret: The insiders responsible for hacks

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