The correlation between North Korea and cryptocurrency remains clouded. Numerous experts claim North Korean hackers target cryptocurrency exchanges and users. A new report indicates hackers are using cryptojacking methods against South Korean consumers.
North Korea Is at It Again
Proving the involvement of North Korea in cryptocurrency hacks has been challenging. Although speculation runs wild, the opinions remain rather divided on this front. While Bitcoin booms in South Korea, it is far from an official currency in the North. That does not mean it isn’t of potential interest to state-sponsored hackers.
A set of claims materialized back in January of 2018. Several computers contained cryptocurrency mining malware. It is suspected the culprits are North Korean hackers intent on mining Monero. This altcoin can, unlike Bitcoin, be mined with regular computer hardware in a semi-efficient manner.
Over the following months, numerous cryptojacking incidents made media headlines. How many of those efforts are orchestrated by North Korea, remains unclear at this time. It is certainly an approach that criminals can get behind given enough incentive. The anonymous nature of Monero makes it easier for hackers to mask their tracks and origins.
The Role of Cryptocurrency
Bitcoin and similar cryptocurrencies can offer a lifeline for North Korea. The country suffers from numerous sanctions and embargoes. As such, its access to fresh capital is severely limited at this time. Exploring options in the cryptocurrency industry can generate additional liquidity.
According to South Korean intelligence, North Korea continues its hacking efforts. Their main targets are still South Korean computers and networks. The distribution of mining malware has, according to local sources, increased over time. No further specifics are provided at this time.
It is not unlikely the cryptojacking threat will remain in place. Criminals exploit software weaknesses to mine Monero using other people’s computers. This business model can become rather lucrative as more time progresses. Despite falling prices, cryptocurrencies remain increasingly appealing. Unfortunately, that also attracts a lot of attention by criminals.
What do you think about the claims connecting North Korea to the cryptocurrency hacks? Let us know in the comments.
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