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North Korea’s Cyber Pirates Pillage $1 Billion Annually, Is Your Country Safe? – Part 1

Daniel Kim Views  

北, 3년간 4.3조 '사이버 도둑질'…러 기술 빼내 해외에 팔기도
IT technology specialist BleepingComputer Capture

“North Korea is conducting indiscriminate cyber attacks in over 150 countries. Through cybercrime, they have stolen over a billion dollars annually for the past three years, threatening the economic stability of all UN member countries.” (Linda Thomas-Greenfield, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations)

“Illegal cyber activities could weaken the effectiveness of the Security Council’s sanctions. In particular, North Korea’s malicious cyber activities will emerge as a textbook case of a new factor threatening international peace and security.” (Hwang Joon Kook, South Korean Ambassador to the United Nations)

These are the remarks made by ambassadors to the United Nations at the Arria-formula meeting held on the 4th of this month (local time) at the UN Headquarters in New York to review and discuss the human rights situation in North Korea. While the UN Security Council discussed cybersecurity at the Arria-formula meeting, this is the first time a discussion has focused on North Korea’s illegal cyber activities.

An official from the South Korean Mission to the United Nations disclosed that this meeting should be seen as a signal for the Security Council’s full-fledged discussion on North Korea’s illegal cyber activities and further stated that not only the West but also countries in Asia and Latin America that have been victimized by North Korea’s virtual asset theft spoke out, highlighting that North Korea’s cyber piracy is a global issue, not just a problem on the Korean Peninsula.

As criticism continues in the UN Security Council’s informal meeting, North Korea’s cyber threat is increasingly spreading. The international community is beginning to accelerate discussions on sanctions against illegal cyber activities and the formation of multilateral cooperation bodies to counter North Korea’s hacker forces, recognizing North Korea’s indiscriminate looting of core infrastructure networks as a common threat faced by the world.

According to the U.S. Department of Treasury and the National Intelligence Service, the scale of illicit profits that have fallen into Kim Jong Un through cyber theft by North Korean hacker forces is estimated to have reached $1.7 billion in virtual assets alone last year. This is the largest scale ever, with North Korea having stolen a total of $3.129 billion through hacking and other means over the past three years, including $1 billion in 2022 and $429 million in 2021.

As a result, the UN Security Council’s North Korea Sanctions Committee also described North Korea as “the most actively operating cyber thief” and a “modern cyber burglar state” in its annual report by the panel of experts. North Korea’s cyber theft or predatory hacking is posing a severe threat to the international community.

The UN 1718 Committee panel investigation also pointed out that North Korea was involved in losses of more than $750 million in 17 cases of virtual asset theft that occurred last year. In addition, over the past six years, 58 similar cyber attacks by North Korea have resulted in losses of approximately $6 billion for virtual asset companies.

To Read Part 2…

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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