The country that has the highest number of crypto-related crimes all over the world is North Korea and is followed by China, the United States, Russia, and the United Kingdom, but not in that order. According to a recent report, there are more than 15 cases of crypto crimes that have been documented in North Korea and the proceeds are in excess of $1.59 billion.
The government uses crypto proceeds for military funding
While it is not known exactly how much the North Korean government is involved in cybercrime, it is a matter of fact that the government does have a cyber program, which is quite extensive and well-organized. As a matter of fact, there have been instances where the government was accused of beefing up its military with the help of the proceeds generated through these cybercriminal activities, including those of crypto-related crimes.
But, it is worth noting that even though the North Korean military has a great deal of firepower, most of the country’s citizens do not have access to basic services and have had to struggle with food problems as well. One of the top reasons behind the state of the country is that it is economically isolated from other countries around the world.
Hackers are rampant
However, North Korea does seem to be breeding a large number of hackers and they have been provided with the best environment to explore as well as exploit international organizations. According to reports, most of the attacks that are conducted by the DPRK are usually through programs sponsored by the government.
This is because the North Korean government mostly controls internet access in the country. The cyber army of North Korea has targeted thousands of government and private establishments and the proceeds they have earned are added to the national defense budget.
South Korean exchanges are heavily targeted
The crypto industry saw a major turning point between 2020 and 2021, as it underwent a massive amount of growth during this period. According to reports, North Korean hackers had launched attacks on different platforms in order to steal crypto funds. Back then, there were a number of cryptocurrencies that had been climbing to their all-time high levels, which made them very lucrative.
The North Korean hacking groups targeted a number of South Korean exchanges in order to get their hands on the crypto assets they wanted. These hackers were able to compromise the Bithumb exchange and stole about $60 million in terms of crypto funds. One of the most notorious hacking groups in the world is called Lazarus and it hails from North Korea.
It has been linked to a number of high-profile crypto-related criminal activities and others as well. The WannaCry hacking fiasco is also one of the incidents that have been credited to this particular hacking group. This was a ransomware attack targeting different institutions all over the globe. North Korea is also thought to be behind the $100 million crypto hack that recently occurred in the DeFi space.