North Korea Retains Lead In Crypto Crimes, Over $1.5 B Stolen

Indeed, the crypto-space has become the favorite place for cybercriminals worldwide for some years, but some countries are more prolific than others.

Similarly, continuous cyber-attacks on crypto-oriented businesses by North Korean hackers have set it at the top of the list of five leading countries in crypto crimes 2022, per the report of Coincub published on 27 June. In addition, the report highlights that stolen funds in digital assets hit an all-time high the previous year reaching $14 billion.

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North Korea has an army of skillful hackers of around 7,000 employees to finance the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) by targeting world organizations and companies to fund the country’s nuclear program initiated by the DPRK.

Per the stats provided by Coincub, over 15 cases are traced relating to South Korea, and the research firm estimates the total loss from these crimes at $1.59 billion occurred between 2017-2022. However, it is another fact that no one knows the exact number of cyber attacks or stolen amount, but the large army of DPRK has access to over 150 countries, the report adds.

North Korean cybercriminals have proven to be a behemoth in exchanges’ hacks, from which the most hacks are geographically clustered. While the investigations have found them involved in only 10 hacking incidents, the actual number may be higher. According to a UN security council report, the hacker army mainly targets South Korea’s crypto exchanges. For instance, one of these exchanges, Bithumb, got compromised four times, resulting in $60 million in revenue for DPRK. 

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North Korea Cybercriminals Left Behind Others In Crypto Crimes

While bringing North Korea’s hacking army into light, the author of The New Yorker, Ed Caeser, adds that “North Korea […] is the only nation in the world whose government is known to conduct nakedly criminal hacking for monetary gain.”

Likewise, a UN security council of 2019 addresses that since the UN has imposed restrictions on the country’s export of commodities in 2016 over its illicit activities of generating nuclear power, the DPRK, promoting the weapons generation of North Korea, considerably turned to revenue generation via the hacking group. Similarly, another report by the UN briefs the group has vanished over $50 million between 2019-2021, and they launched seven other attacks to finance their nuclear program.

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Nevertheless, the United States of America ranks second in this list with a shadow economy based on digital assets. The country mainly registered illicit companies, which shows the recent slew of prosection on U.S crypto-oriented businesses and indictments recently made in the U.S. So far, 14 cases are traced, totaling $2 billion.

The ransomware attacks originated by Russia put it at the third country committing illegal transfers of crypto funds.

Similarly, China ranks fourth for its wide-scale Ponzi schemes, frauds, and hacks of exchanges. The country remains the most profitable regime for crypto fraud, swapping 18% of the total stolen amount of stolen digital currency.

In the end, the United Kingdom claims the fifth number, committing fraudulent activities and cyberattacks within the country.

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