N. Korean cyber actors raised over $720 mil. from virtual asset heists in 2022: US Treasury Dept.


North Korean cyber actors generated over $720 million from virtual asset heists in 2022 to help bankroll Pyongyang’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and ballistic missile programs, the U.S. Treasury Department said in a report on Wednesday.The department released its first-ever report on the finance risk assessment of non-fungible tokens (NFT). NTFs are cryptographic assets that can each represent a unique asset like artwork.”DPRK cyber actors in 2022 raised more than $720 million from virtual asset heists against virtual asset projects and firms, accounting for the vast majority of Pyongyang’s revenue generated through cybercrime,” the department said in the report.DPRK stands for the North’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.Under pressure from U.S. and U.N. sanctions, Pyongyang has resorted to cyber-enabled thefts from virtual asset service providers (VASPs) and other financial institutions to raise revenue for its WMD and other programs, the department pointed out.

Citing a report from a U.S. cybersecurity firm, the department called attention to an NFT theft scheme that the firm attributed to North Korean cyber actors in 2022.In the scheme, North Korean actors allegedly used nearly 500 decoy websites designed to look like NFT products to socially engineer victims to expose their private keys by visiting malicious websites, allowing the cyber actors to steal their NFT holdings, the department said based on the report.One of the decoys was able to steal over 1,000 NFTs and subsequently converted them into Ether worth over $350,000 and sent the funds to VASPs and other virtual asset wallet addresses, according to the cybersecurity firm.The department reiterated that North Korea has dispatched thousands of its highly-skilled information technology (IT) workers around the world who often are employed to work on projects involving digital assets.The report came as Seoul, Washington and others have stepped up efforts to identify, disrupt and expose ill-intended cyberactivities by North Korea-linked agents to prevent them from channeling funds into the North’s weapons 카지노사이트킹 programs.

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