Money for nuclear missiles: North Korea probably stole a record amount of cryptocurrency in 2022

No country in the world has specialized in capturing cryptocurrency like the closed regime. In 2022, a new record sum was said to have come together.

Cybercriminals in the service of North Korea captured more crypto money last year than in any previous year. That, at least, is the result of a report for the United Nations, reported by the news agency Reuters. Accordingly, Bitcoin & Co. with a total value of around 630 million US dollars was stolen from the regime in Pyongyang. According to another report, it was even over a billion US dollars in total. Although the price fluctuations of the cryptocurrencies would have had an influence on the total value of the loot, in the assessment that it was a record year, one is unanimous. Among other things, North Korea has been linked to the hack against the blockchain game Axie Infinity, in which over 500 million euros were stolen.

Most of the raids are carried out by groups controlled by North Korean intelligence, Reuters said. These include the Lazarus Group, also known as APT38. They infect the victims’ computers and computer systems with malware (ransomware) in order to extort ransom. The report also states that the hermetically sealed regime has launched over 70 ballistic and intercontinental ballistic missiles. The captured crypto money is used to finance the development and construction of the weapons.

It has long been known that North Korea has been capturing hundreds of millions or billions of US dollars in crypto money for years through organized action. Only the sum collected is unclear. According to South Korea’s secret service NIS, around 1.1 billion euros have been collected in recent years, more than half of it in 2022. Three years earlier, the total loot at the time had been estimated at over two billion US dollars. The ability of the regime in North Korea to engage in such thefts is almost unmatched worldwide and a response to the economic sanctions against the country’s nuclear program, according to South Korea. Therefore, no end to the lucrative cyber attacks is to be expected.

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