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North Korea’s Lucrative Cyber Theft

Daniel Kim Views  

ⓒYonhap News

The U.S. government revealed that North Korea has amassed approximately $850 million through the theft of virtual assets.

According to the 2024 Non-Fungible Token (NFT) Illicit Financial Risk Assessment Report released by the U.S. Department of Treasury on the 29th, North Korea garnered over $720 million in profit in 2022 by theft targeting virtual asset projects and companies. NFT refers to a type of cryptocurrency that cannot be exchanged or duplicated.

The report highlights that North Korea’s illicit activities have intensified amidst economic sanctions from both the U.S. and the United Nations. Traces of the funds being used to develop weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and ballistic missile programs have been discovered. The Treasury Department stated, “A significant portion of North Korea’s total income comes from cyber crimes.”

North Korea has been identified as operating approximately 500 fake websites to commit cyber crimes. North Korean programmers lured virtual asset owners to visit these websites, resulting in password exposure, enabling them to steal virtual assets.

The report states, “North Korea has trained a large number of professional programmers and dispatched them worldwide to engage in various cyber crimes. They have heavily targeted the virtual asset market, exploiting regulatory blind spots, for profit generation and money in recent years. This presents a very serious level of threat.”

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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