According to the Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun, North Korea could have accumulated $2 billion with its crypto-hacks.
Korean state hackers have in fact intensified attacks on cryptocurrency exchanges and, according to some estimates, the total amount they have managed to seize to date is about 2 billion dollars.
This estimate, according to Asahi Shimbun, would appear on a 142-page report of the United Nations Security Council that has not yet been published, in which the volumes of cryptocurrency activities in North Korea are described in detail.
The report states “35 cyber attacks on [conventional] financial institutions and cryptocurrency exchanges in 17 countries, in the period of December 2015 to May 2019“.
The UN Security Council report also states that these attacks were carried out by a secret group under the direct orders of the General Reconnaissance Office of the Korean People’s Army, the intelligence agency of the country’s armed forces.
In addition, the report argues that the $2 billion raised would be used to fund the country’s weapons of mass destruction programme.
Already in the past, it was assumed that North Korea had set up a real State team, composed of at least 20 hackers, to carry out attacks aimed at seizing cryptocurrencies.
This group, in the course of 2018, would also have started to target individual investors, as well as large exchanges.
In fact, according to the South Korean cybersecurity company CUVEPIA, as of April 2018 more than 30 attacks against individuals in possession of cryptocurrency were reported, although many more might not have been reported.
It should also be noted that Japan and South Korea are the two states most at risk for a possible North Korean attack with weapons of mass destruction, so this information may not be impartial.
However, it has been officially confirmed by the North Korean authorities themselves that there is a team working on blockchain and cryptocurrencies, so it is not unlikely that among its activities there is also that of organising hacker attacks to take possession of cryptocurrencies. There may be further confirmations when the UN Security Council publishes its report.