North Korean hackers accused of stealing hundreds of millions in crypto to fund nuclear programs
Since 2018, North Korea appears to have stolen more than $2 billion in crypto through more than 30 attacks, a firm said.
North Korea-linked hackers have stolen at least $200 million in cryptocurrency this year, which they are using to fund the communist country's nuclear programs, according to new research.
From January to Aug. 18, North Korea-affiliated hackers accounted for more than 20% of all stolen cryptocurrency after stealing $200 million in crypto during this time, according to TRM Labs, a blockchain intelligence firm.
Since 2018, North Korea appears to have stolen more than $2 billion in crypto through more than 30 attacks, the firm said.
North Korea is struggling under sanctions, which include bans on financial services and are aimed to limit the country's ability to fund its nuclear activities, which have been increasing in recent years.
"They are under pretty serious economic stress with international sanctions. They need every dollar they can. And this is just obviously a much more efficient way for North Korea to make money," TRM Labs intelligence analyst Nick Carlsen said, CNBC reported Tuesday.
"Even if that dollar stolen in crypto doesn’t directly go towards the purchase of some component for the nuclear program, it frees up another dollar to support the regime and its programs," Carlsen also said.