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North Korea Targets South Korea Bitcoin Exchanges

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North Korean Hackers Set Global Targets After U.N. Policy Stringency

Cyberattacks infiltrating the security parameters of global financial institutions have always zeroed on North Korea as the penultimate mastermind behind all such malicious activities. Their latest exploit have garnered much concern worldwide as the hackers from North Korea targeted South Korean cryptocurrency exchanges for channelizing money into the dictatorship program of Kim Jong Un. Funding of the same was outright rejected by United Nations security council which perceived it to be a rogue cash flow source.

A report published by FireEye, a security firm revealed that since May 2017, North Korean hackers have breached into the firewall of three South Korean cryptocurrency platforms. With increased difficulty associated with legal campaign funding, the state sponsored actors of North Korea are taking the illegal route to steal virtual currencies.

Pyongyang made use of traditional cyber-spying mechanisms for the first time in 2016 for breaking into the virtual currency vault. Four wallets of Yapizon, a South Korean cryptocurrency exchange was compromised in April although a direct link of the same with the notorious North Korea could not be established. Yapizon disclosed its loss figure to be a whopping 3816 bitcoins worth $5.83 million. South Korean exchanges also became the victim of fake emails and spearphishing tactics during May and July.

Although the value of Bitcoin has underwent considerable upsurge since its hard fork on August 1, lack of proper regulatory framework has provided a safe haven for crimes which are difficult to detect given the crypto world’s anonymous framework. According to a report published by Wall Street Journal, the malware spread across South Korean ATM’s have been directly linked with their northern neighbours. By making use of the stolen bank details, the regime then moved money out of online wallets into untraceable sources as the bitcoins got converted into ambiguous forms.

As the U.N. Council approved new sanctions which went against North Korean economy by capping imports of crude oil and banning condensates and natural gas, the hacking activity might just get a newfound impetus to sustain its financial requirement. The North Korean dictatorship launched a nuclear test missile earlier this month and given the current events, there is a high change of another nuke launch in days to come.

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Tarunuima Ghosh Laha
Tarunuima Ghosh Laha
Tarunima Ghosh Laha is a Finance Post Grad from St. Xaviers who believes Finance is more than just Balance Sheets and Ledger creation. This filmy bookworm who believes she was a sloth in past life also nourishes a penchant of owning a private zoo someday. Equipped with a laptop and online Lexicon she is all set to give finance a glamorous makeover in the form of exciting writeups with bang on info and flashy new words.

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