it is supposed that Cyber criminals based in North Korea use untraceable alternative cryptocurrencies, or altcoins, to turn stolen funds into cash.
According to a report by NK News, an unpublished report by the United Nations Panel of Experts claims that North Korea supports hackers They stole around $ 1.5 billion worth of cryptocurrency and converted some of that amount into cash.
Use of altcoins, mixers and loosely regulated exchanges
Hackers act on purpose Using privacy-conscious altcoins as their origin is difficult to traceMoving the stolen assets to flexibly regulated crypto exchanges with minimal customer identification requirements.
UN experts allegedly alleged that North Korean hackers They try to make their money undetectable with “mixers”., an advanced service that shuffles cryptocurrency funds from multiple users to protect privacy and impede tracking.
Fred Plan, senior analyst at cybersecurity firm Mandiant Threat Intelligence, said, “North Korea-sponsored actors have a key advantage that most cybercriminals don’t: They are backed by the resources of a nation-state that believes they already have considerable capacity to move money into other illegal transactions like the sale of arms and human trafficking. “
North Korea is heavily involved in cash and cryptocurrency theft
North Korea is suspected of having committed numerous virtual robberies and stealing billions of dollars in funds. One of North Korea’s most notorious cybercriminal groups, Lazarus, reportedly stole more than $ 571 million between 2017 and 2018. As Cointelegraph reported In 2018, North Korea-sponsored hacks accounted for more than 65% of cryptocurrencies stolen.
Another 2019 UN report cited by Reuters estimated that North Korea had stolen nearly $ 2 billion in cash and cryptocurrency through cyberattacks to fund its nuclear program.