Almost Half Of North Korea’s Missile Programs Financed Through Stolen Crypto: White House

Almost Half Of North Korea’s Missile Programs Financed Through Stolen Crypto: White House

As per an undisclosed White House source, North Korea financed around half of its nuclear missile tests via crypto theft and cyber-attacks. According to a report by Chainalysis, North Korean hackers stole digital assets worth $1.7 billion in 2022.

The Lazarus Group was one of the most notable exploits this year as it was responsible for major attacks. Its most notable attack was on the Ronin Network which lead to a loss of around $625 million.

The Threat from North Korean Hackers Persists

North Korea (also known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) has been enhancing its military power in the last couple of years and is one of the few countries on the surface of the earth with nuclear weapons.

The country is governed by Kim Jong Un, who is looking for every possible opportunity to enhance its weapons. Kim has been carrying out various tests and missile programs, posing a threat of a potential nuclear war in the Korean peninsula.

Recently, a White House official made the discovery that the crypto coins stolen and the ransom collected through cyber-attacks have helped fund almost half of North Korea’s nuclear program.

According to the Deputy National Security Adviser for Cyber and emerging technology – Anne Neuberger – the Biden administration is closely watching the developments and is trying to figure out how “a country such as (North Korea) is so creative in coming up with these tricks.”

Furthermore, she also proclaimed that the military and US intelligence agencies are working to find the bad actors and trace the stolen digital assets. The UN (United Nations) also asserted that North Korea has been funding its nuclear programs and missile experiments through crypto thefts.

North Korea’s Response to the News

North Korea has been continuously working towards upgrading its military in the last year. The totalitarian nation has increased its efforts toward developing new and improved missiles that would target a greater range.

Regardless of the threats and accusations from the US and various Western nations, the country continues to focus on its war-related efforts. In fact, North Korea’s authorities reported about a month earlier that they’ll be testing the “most robust” missile up to date.

Experts and analysts warned that these weapons can have a much faster strike rate, which means it could lead to a more devastating impact for different countries including the US. Kim Jong Un supervised the test himself.

He further added how the missile will make the enemies “suffer from anxiety and depression.”

Leaving a Mark Last Year

North Korean cybercriminals and hackers have made it their signature move to steal crypto coins through various complex tricks. According to Chainalisys, which is a blockchain data platform, there has been a loss of around $1.7 billion worth of digital assets.

This amount has been drained by wrongdoers through various sources and then potentially used to fund North Korea’s nuclear efforts.

One of the most notorious groups that is responsible for the most and biggest attacks last year was The Lazarus Group. It has been tied to the North Korean government and has been involved in cyber-attacks on various groups and organizations.

Most notoriously, the FBI claimed that the Lazarus Group was behind the Ronin Network attack which led to a loss of $625 million.

Furthermore, MistTrack – a compliance platform – reported that the same group was responsible for stealing around $100 million from their decentralized blockchain-based platform, Harmony.

Elliptic Enterprise also suggested the same thing. All these attacks have been concerning for authorities who are now devising a strategy that can stop the cyber-attacks on digital assets.