Photo : YONHAP News
Anchor: A report from a South Korean think tank says that North Korea is diversifying its cybercrimes in a bid to offset the fallen value of cryptocurrencies. The report warned that North Korea is now renewing its interest in attacking the financial sector.
Kim Bum-soo has more.
Report: Amid the falling cryptocurrency prices, North Korea is suspected to be diversifying its cybercrimes.
That’s according to an Issue Brief released by the Institute for National Security Strategy this week, a South Korean state-funded think tank, which pointed to a rising number of ransomware attacks since last year.
Ransomware refers to a type of malicious software which cyber criminals use in blocking users’ access to files on their computers in order to demand ransom payment for releasing the devices.
While noting that North Korea is now renewing its interest in attacking the financial sector, the report attributed the situation to the declining value of cyber assets, which North Korea steals.
North Korea has stolen around 340 million dollars worth of cryptocurrencies in the first three quarters of the year, according to the report.
That’s nearly 30 percent of the total cryptocurrency thefts around the world, but the total damage is less than the previous year due to the drastic drop in cyber asset values in the wake of U.S. rate hikes and the collapse of the FTX exchange.
The report also noted that countries have strengthened their guard against cybercrimes following last year’s hacking into the blockchain of high-profile crypto game Axie Infinity, which the U.S. government has linked to the North Korea-aligned Lazarus Group.
While noting that North Korea appears to be relying on Russian exchanges to cash its cryptocurrencies, the report also called for efforts to devise ways to retrieve stolen cryptocurrencies.
Kim Bum-soo, KBS World Radio News.