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6 Feb, 2022 09:10

North Korea developing nukes ‘through cyber means,’ has stolen cryptocurrency – secret UN report

Pyongyang reportedly obtained know-how for its nuclear program and more than $450 million from cyberattacks last year
North Korea developing nukes ‘through cyber means,’ has stolen cryptocurrency – secret UN report

North Korean hackers have stolen millions of dollars from international cryptocurrency exchanges, as well as obtaining intellectual property to be used for the development of nukes and missiles, according to a confidential UN report.

Details of the alleged cyberattacks are contained in papers submitted to the UN Security Council on Friday, according to Reuters.

North Korea continued to seek material, technology and know-how for these programs overseas, including through cyber means and joint scientific research,” the confidential report said, as cited by the news agency.

In 2021, Pyongyang continued the “maintenance and development” of its “nuclear and ballistic missile infrastructure,” it added, while also alleging that it “demonstrated increased capabilities for rapid deployment.”

Cyberattacks, particularly on cryptocurrency assets, remain an important revenue source,” the report claims. It stated that more than $50 million was stolen last year from at least three cryptocurrency platforms in North America, Europe and Asia. North Korea helped itself to another $400 million worth of digital assets through more cyberattacks, according to Chainalysis, as cited in the documents.

No nuclear weapons are known to have been tested in North Korea, and no long-range intercontinental ballistic missiles were launched in recent years. However, short-range and “possible intermediate-range” missile tests have continued, with the UN having recently expressed “great concern” and accused Pyongyang of “a clear violation of Security Council resolutions.”

North Korea says it is no longer bound by an earlier self-imposed moratorium on missile tests, since its talks with the West broke down under former US President Donald Trump.