Business 14 November 2018

Dan Taylor

To fund regime, North Korea hacked crypto exchanges, ran ICOs: report

North Korea, which has described itself as a self-reliant socialist state, has been hacking cryptocurrency exchanges in South Korea as well as running ICOs to raise money, according to extraordinary reports.

Following previous research from cybersecurity researchers at Inksit Group, the North Korean state has been flagged as a persistent bad actor in crypto circles, hacking into South Korean exchanges as well as setting up their own fake ICOs to raise money for the regime.

According to the report, North Korean authorities are increasingly leveraging crypto markets to their advantage, both in raising funds for the regime and in circumventing international sanctions, including their exclusion from the SWIFT network for international payments.

“We discovered that North Korea’s ruling elite are technologically savvy, use a full range of older and cutting-edge computers, phones, and devices, use the internet as a tool for sanctions circumvention, and recently shifted to embrace Chinese social networking services over Western ones,” the Inksit Group stressed.

In a report published back in January, Inksit linked hackers Lazarus Group with the North Korean state, and pinpointed a series of attacks using similar Bitcoin Core (BTC) malware and ransomware to target a number of victims, including Sony Pictures and South Korean exchange Coinlink.

Per the findings published this week, these types of scams appear to be increasing, which researchers suggest is being fuelled by international sanctions against the regime.

The team noted, “Broadly, these types of cryptocurrency scams fit the template of low-level financial crime described by defectors that has plagued South Korea for years, and that the international community is just beginning to track. It is a natural step for both a group of actors that has been so embedded in the cryptocurrency world for years and for a network that is being forced to innovate new funding streams to counter the effects of international sanctions.”

The report identified the Marine Chain project as being one example of an initial coin offering (ICO) that was funding the North Korean government, as well as uncovering a network of so-called “enablers” based in Singapore working on a number of similar projects. The findings show rogue governments are still drawn to BTC scams and ICOs, adding further weight behind calls for more scrutiny and regulation of the sector internationally.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.

Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (BSV) is today the only Bitcoin project that follows the original Satoshi Nakamoto whitepaper, and that follows the original Satoshi protocol and design. BSV is the only public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin and will massively scale to become the world’s new money and enterprise blockchain.

COMMENT

latest news

LocalBitcoins bans users living in Iran amidst global tensions

Business 45 minutes ago

LocalBitcoins bans users living in Iran amidst global tensions

LocalBitcoins didn’t say why they had shutdown for Iran, but global tensions look like they put some pressure on the company and its homeland of Finland.

Read More
Robinhood looking to raise at least $200 million in new funding round

Business 45 minutes ago

Robinhood looking to raise at least $200 million in new funding round

Robinhood is riding its popularity to another $200 million and an evaluation nearing $8 billion.

Read More
Crypto market daily report – May 27, 2019

Business 1 hour ago

Crypto market daily report – May 27, 2019

The cryptocurrency markets demonstrated considerable bullish movement, with Bitcoin SV demonstrating a massive 26% rise to the $114 level.

Read More
[data-clipboard-demo]
[data-clipboard-demo]
[data-clipboard-demo]
[data-clipboard-demo]
[data-clipboard-demo]
[data-clipboard-demo]
[data-clipboard-demo]
[data-clipboard-demo]
[data-clipboard-demo]
[data-clipboard-demo]