Cryptocurrencies: North Korea increases internet use by 300% for hacking purposes

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — While Google Trends had reported the highest level of research for Bitcoin since September 2019, a study published by Inikt Group announces that North Korea is not to be outdone for its internet use, with an increasing interest to 300% for its last 3 years with a view to unhealthy exploitation of cryptocurrencies.

An escape route for North Korea?

North Korea’s policy of distrust of Western regimes seems to have seen no limits in recent years. The nation is convinced of a tyranny planned by the European and American coalition in order to weigh down its economy, and in a broad sense its sovereignty.

The country led by the iron hand of Kim Jung Un endeavors to deploy all the resources at its disposal to carry out a derogatory counterattack via researches on the nuclear power, but also on other grounds like on the Web via the hacking for example.

Thus, the intelligence branch of the American cybersecurity society points to the aggressive strategy of the autarkic state to get involved in hacks and other scams related to cryptocurrencies to escape international economic sanctions.

In this case, North Korea has opted for a new strategy focused on illegal maneuvers to secure income through hacking of cryptocurrency exchange platforms and malware to extract information about digital assets.

As the study by Insikt Group titled “How North Korea Revolutionized the Internet as a Tool for Rogue Regimes” indicates, it is the political and military elites of the regime who are the first to be involved in these operations.

In this perspective, the use of the network has increased by 300% during the last three years in order to circumvent the international repressions applied by the Americans.

A sling difficult to control

Unlike diplomatic provocations and other attempts at military and commercial destabilization, the use of the internet is notably more difficult to manage , given that the technology used in the digital asset sector is beyond the control of political institutions . In this case, the study specifies that certain countries like India or even China welcome “involuntarily” illicit attacks of the North Korean hackers without having the capacity to mark up and to implement adequate measures.

The Insikt Group report mentions a preference for illegal mining of Monero tokens since May 2019.

“We have seen at least a tenfold increase in Monero mining activity from North Korean IP ranges since May 2019. We believe that Monero anonymity and lower processing power requirements are likely to make Monero more attractive than Bitcoin for North Korean users”.

Finally, the study points out that North Korea’s interest in cryptocurrencies goes far beyond mere economic performance . In this case, these revenues from piracy would also be redirected to nuclear research.

“This includes not only the use of the Internet as a revenue generation mechanism, but as an instrument for the acquisition of prohibited knowledge and skills, such as those enabling the development of North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs and cyber operations,” he said.


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