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North Korean hackers and Bitcoin

Oct 23, 2017 Posted /  13576 Views

North Korean hackers and Bitcoin

From a long time, many critics have been warning people against bitcoin relating it to a bubble, or even an element which serves as a permeable currency which provides a chance to the hackers, terrorists, and criminals to launder money, supply it for funding the terrorist activities and use it unethically for unlawful activities. JPM CEO Jamie Morgan has declared it as a bubble which will explode soon, which caused a rant amongst him and the bitcoin aficionados. And few latest reports say that North Korean hackers are intensifying their attempts to hack, steal bitcoins from South Korea as well as other bitcoin exchanges of the world may be the last straw that will lead the regulators to firmly restrict bitcoins.

FireEye has its eye on North Korea’s actions

In a report from cybersecurity firm FireEye which came to know about three attacks against South Korean cryptocurrency exchanges unearthed to North Korean hackers midst May and July this year. University of Georgia Professor Jeffrey Dorfman said in an email exchange "The ability of regimes like Kim Jong Un's North Korea to mine or steal cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin is a new reason to be cautious in treating these commodities as currencies, while rogue states have practiced counterfeiting even longer than they have been computer hacking, counterfeiters are easier to catch. Once a cryptocurrency is stolen, it is virtually impossible to stop the new owner from spending it, and doing so in untraceable ways."

While bitcoin plus the cryptocurrency exchanges might seem like odd targets for nation-state actors interested in funding state coffers, some of the other unlawful endeavors North Korea that pursues further shows interest in conducting financial crime on the regime’s behalf. North Korea's Office 39 is involved in activities like gold smuggling, counterfeiting foreign currency, also operating restaurants.

North Korea’s illegal intentions

At the end, there should be no surprise that cryptocurrencies are an emerging asset category is becoming a prime target of interest by a regime that operates in many ways like a criminal enterprise. While at present North Korea is somewhat different in both their willingness to engage in financial crime as well as their possession of cyber espionage capabilities and the uniqueness of this amalgamation will probably not the last long-term as rising cyber powers may see same kind of potential.

FireEye also said that the country could be attempting to retrieve hard cash in exchange for stolen virtual coins in order to fund the regime.

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Tags: bitcoin Hacking hackers korea bitcoin exchanges steal cryptocurrencies

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