According to the South Korean editions Newsis and Chosun, hackers from North Korea have hacked many cryptocurrency exchanges in five years and stole assets worth $ 1.7 billion.
In their statements, the publications refer to a press release from the American prosecutor’s office. They accuse the North Korean authorities of educating and supporting hackers who hack cryptocurrency exchanges from different countries. An example is the Bithumb, Kucoin and YouBit hacks made in 2017 and 2018.
Interestingly, the North Korean hackers do not sell the stolen assets, but continue to store them in their wallets.
“Considering the fact that the bitcoin rate has risen 60 times since 2017, when North Korean hackers began to hack cryptocurrency exchanges, they are using stolen cryptocurrencies as a long-term investment. For North Korea, cryptocurrencies have become the only liquid financial asset that can be used in the face of tough economic sanctions, ”said Koh Myung-Hyun, Senior Fellow at the Institute for Political Studies of Asia.
Note that North Korea has been repeatedly accused of hacking cryptocurrency services by hackers specially trained for this purpose. In February of this year, Reuters accused North Korean hackers of stealing $ 316.3 million in cryptocurrencies between the end of 2019 and November 2020.