UN experts investigate North Korea’s cyber operations fueling nuclear ambitions
The monitors are investigating 58 suspected cyber-attacks on cryptocurrency-related entities between 2017 and 2023, valued at around $3 billion.
UN sanctions monitors are probing numerous suspected cyberattacks attributed to North Korea, allegedly yielding $3 billion to bolster its nuclear weapons program, according to excerpts from an unpublished UN report reviewed by Reuters.
The panel of independent sanctions monitors, addressing a Security Council committee under North Korea’s formal name, stated, ‘The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) persisted in disregarding Security Council sanctions.’
The monitors are investigating 58 suspected cyber-attacks on cryptocurrency-related entities between 2017 and 2023, valued at around $3 billion, purportedly aiding DPRK’s weapons of mass destruction (WMD) development. These findings are part of the monitors’ semiannual report to the 15-member Security Council.
Subordinate North Korean hacking groups, reportedly affiliated with Pyongyang’s primary foreign intelligence agency, persisted in many cyber-attacks, the sanctions monitors noted.
‘Trends include DPRK targeting of defense firms and supply chains, along with increased sharing of infrastructure and tools,’ the monitors stated.
The monitors also highlighted North Korea’s advancements in nuclear weapons and fissile material production, despite its last known nuclear test occurring in 2017. Pyongyang also continued ballistic missile launches, and satellite deployment, and reportedly included a tactical nuclear attack submarine in its arsenal.
North Korea’s UN mission in New York did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment on the report. Pyongyang has previously denied involvement in hacking or cyber-attacks.