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Crypto Hacks and Cyberattacks Fund About 50% of North Korea’s Missile Program: Report

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A White House official has reportedly said that cryptocurrency theft and cyberattacks provide for about half of North Korea’s missile program funds.

Citing Deputy National Security Adviser for Cyber and Emerging Technology Anne Neuberger, CNN reports that the US is now looking at Kim Jong Un regime’s heavy reliance on financial cybercrimes.

Neuberger says that the current US administration is already “putting a lot of time and thought” into the problem. She says intelligence agencies are now making efforts to identify North Korean operatives while the Treasury Department is tracking stolen crypto assets.

Says Neuberger at an event hosted by the nonprofit Special Competitive Studies Project,

“A country like [North Korea] is so darn creative in this space.”

During a virtual discussion on cybersecurity threats in July, Neuberger said that one-third of North Korea’s missile program is financed by money taken from cyberattacks, but her spokesperson says the updated figure she recently cited is accurate.

A report submitted to a United Nations security council committee earlier this year revealed that North Korean hackers stole around $630 million worth of crypto assets in 2022. The attacks are said to be carried out by groups controlled by the country’s primary intelligence agency, the Reconnaissance General Bureau.

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