North Korea uses crypto-attack profits to develop missiles!

North Korea uses crypto-attack profits to develop missiles! - wired placeholder dummyExperts said there was "a marked acceleration" of Pyongyang's tests and demonstrations of new short- and possibly medium-range missiles until January, adding that the country's ability to produce nuclear fissile material violates Council resolutions. United Nations security.

The report, presented to the UN Security Council's North Korea Sanctions Committee on Friday, said cyberattacks, "particularly on cryptocurrency assets," played an important role in funding its missile programs.

The attacks allow North Korea to continue to search for materials and technology around the world, including in Iran, for its weapons.

Arms race

North Korea, formally known as the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), continues to seek "material, technology and know-how for these programs abroad, including through computer media and joint scientific research," the group warned. experts.

"The new technologies tested include a possible hypersonic guiding warhead and a maneuverable reentry vehicle," the group noted.

He said Pyongyang has also "increased rapid deployment capabilities, broad mobility (including at sea), and improved the resilience of its missile forces."

North Korea continued to modernize its nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles in defiance of UN sanctions, the report stressed.

Blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis said in a report last month that North Korean hackers stole around $ 400 million (£ 300 million) in cryptocurrencies in 2021 - about 40 percent more hacking money than in 2020. .

The report noted that the Lazarus Group - a notorious state-sponsored cybercrime unit - was behind most of the top seven digital attacks.

"Once North Korea got custody of the funds, they began a careful laundering process to cover and cash out," the Chainalysis report said.

The United Nations Security Council noted in 2019 that North Korea had earned about $ 2 billion (€ 1,7 billion at quotation current) in three years through illegal IT activities.

Against all rules!

In recent months, Pyongyang has launched a wide range of weapons systems and has threatened to lift its four-year moratorium on more severe weapons testing, including nuclear explosions and ICBMs.

North Korea launched a record nine missiles in January and recently also tested a hypersonic missile in development and a missile launched from a submarine.

Meanwhile, experts said North Korea's blockade to prevent Covid-19 has led to "historically low levels" of people and goods entering and leaving the country.

While UN sanctions ban North Korean coal exports, the new report said seaborne coal exports increased during the second half of 2021 even though "they were still at relatively low levels."

"The amount of illicit imports of refined oil increased sharply over the same period, but at a much lower level than in previous years," the panel noted, adding that North Korea continues to evade maritime sanctions "through deliberately obfuscated property and financial networks. "