UN report: North Korea hacking crypto exchanges to amass crypto & circumvent sanctions

posted 3 months ago
North Korea has been carrying out major cryptocurrency hacks to bypass economic sanctions, according to a UN Security Council expert panel report. This is the first time the panel detailed North Korea’s illicit cryptocurrency activities. The country had economic sanctions imposed over its nuclear and missile programs, which impacted its exports of coal and thus its foreign exchange earnings.

Cryptocurrencies, the panel said, give the regime “more ways to evade sanctions, given that they are harder to trace, can be laundered many times and are independent from government regulation.” The panel estimates North Korea carried out successful attacks on Asian cryptocurrency exchanges at least five times between January 2017 and September 2018, netting $571 million worth of cryptocurrency.
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