September 8, 2023: Research shows that the FBI stated that North Korean hackers are training to cash out after high-profile crypto hacks.
“In recent years, there has been a marked advancement in the size and scale of cyber-attacks against cryptocurrency connected firms by North Korea.
In a June discussion with North Korea experts, this has overlapped with an apparent acceleration in the government’s nuclear and ballistic missile schedules,” declared TRM Labs.
In that discussion, TRM Labs said there has been a pivot away from North Korea’s “traditional revenue-generating activities,” indicating that the regime may be “increasingly turning to cyber-attacks to fund its weapons increase activity.”
In a February report, blockchain analytics company Chainalysis said that “most experts agree the North Korean government is using these stolen assets to fund its nuclear weapons programs.”
Since North Korea’s initial nuclear trial in 2006, the United Nations has slapped multiple boycotts on the solitary regime known formally as DPRK, or the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, for its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.
The sanctions, which include bans on financial services, minerals, metals, and arms, are aimed at restricting North Korea’s access to funding sources to support its nuclear activities.
Last month, the FBI alerted crypto businesses that North Korea-linked hackers plan to “cash out” $40 million of crypto.
The agency also said in January it persists “to identify and disrupt North Korea’s theft and which saul of virtual currency, which is used to support North Korea’s ballistic rocket and Weapons of Mass Destruction programs.”
“They are under pretty heavy economic stress with international sanctions. They need every dollar they can. And this is a much more efficient way for North Korea to make money,” Nick Carlsen, intelligence analyst at blockchain analytics firm TRM Labs, said.
“Even if that dollar stolen in crypto is not directly go towards purchasing some component for the nuclear agenda, it frees up another buck to support the regime and its schedules,” said Carlsen.