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UN probing 35 North Korean cyberattacks in 17 countries

13 August 2019

6, the earlier confidential U.N. report seen by Reuters - researched by "independent experts" and presented to the U.N. Security Council North Korea sanctions committee - suggests that North Korea has used "widespread and increasingly sophisticated" hacks to collect roughly $2 billion.

The United Nations is investigating 35 North Korean cyberattacks across 17 countries, according to a report published August 13 by Associated Press.

Costa Rica, Gambia, Guatemala, Kuwait, Liberia, Malaysia, Malta, Nigeria, Poland, Slovenia, South Africa, Tunisia and Vietnam suffered one attack each, it said.

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As more nations become the victims of malicious cyber attacks traceable to North Korea, the United Nations has swung into action to tackle the growing problem and has reportedly been able to identify the various modes of operation of the hackers in question. The intergovernmental organization is investigating 35 North Korea cyberattacks in 17 countries.

A number of cryptocurrency exchanges in the region have been attacked this year including Binance, Tokyo based BitPoint, and Singapore based Bitrue.

Also, the method of mining cryptocurrency via crypto-jacking was adopted to generate funds for a professional branch of the North Korean military.

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The experts said they have requested information from Rwanda on a report that North Koreans are conducting special forces training at a military camp in Gabiro.

In one of the examples of cyberattacks cited in the report, hackers accessed the infrastructure managing an unnamed country's entire ATM system and installed malware modifying the way transactions are processed. Each attack resulted in losses ranging from US$7 million to $31 million, according to the report. The UN experts also investigated instances of "cryptojacking" in which malware is used to infect a computer to illegally mine cryptocurrencies.

South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb was reportedly attacked at least four times, leading to a cumulative loss of over $50 million.

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It added that one report analyzed a piece of malware created to mine Monero and send the digital loot to servers located at Kim Il-sung University in Pyongyang.

UN probing 35 North Korean cyberattacks in 17 countries