North Korea Cryptocurrency Report Urges Southeast Asia To ‘Mitigate’ Threat

North Korea Cryptocurrency Report Urges Southeast Asia To ‘Mitigate’ Threat

A new report into the alleged use of cryptocurrency by North Korea claims the whole of Southeast Asia is vulnerable to state actors.

RUSI: North Korea Has ‘Gone To Extremes’

Published April 12, the report, Closing the Crypto Gap: Guidance for Countering North Korean Cryptocurrency Activity in Southeast Asia, comes courtesy of the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies (RUSI).

In it, researchers examine North Koreas history of involvement in cryptocurrency – with varying levels of proof – as it pertains to widespread cyberattacks, targeting specific entities or the entire globe.

North Korea has gone to extremes to raise funds and evade international sanctions, recently expanding these efforts to include the exploitation of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, a summary of the report begins.

As Bitcoinist has frequently reported, the exact role North Korea plays in cyberwarfare, and cryptocurrency-based campaigns in particular, is subject to considerable doubt.

Episodes such as 2017s infamous WannaCry cyberattack, ultimately linked to hacker collective the Lazarus Group, remain only partially understood.

Crypto’s ‘Likely Peripheral Role’

As such, the report, while warning about potential threats, is also forced to acknowledge from the outset that a lack of verifiable data makes judging those threats all but impossible.

Cryptocurrencies likely play only a peripheral role in North Koreas overall fundraising and sanctions-evasion activity, the summary continues.

However, the sophistication of North Koreas broader cybercrime operations and its general demand for ongoing financial resources present the risk that its cryptocurrency activity could become a sustained security challenge, particularly as international sanctions lead North Korea to seek financial lifelines outside the mainstream sector.

The report nonetheless delineates three major areas which could describe North Koreas crypto activities. These are fundraising, stockpiling and circumvention.

Specifically, Pyongyang may wish to procure cryptocurrency to convert into fiat, as well as hoarding cryptoassets and using them to transact bypassing international sanctions.

Mitigate Now

As various hacking reports testify, it is both South Korea and the Southeast Asia sphere that the North appears to target with an eye to achieving these goals.

Countries in Southeast Asia face several vulnerabilities to the types of illicit activity North Korea has engaged in using cryptocurrencies, the report concludes.

The regions presently uncoordinated approaches to the regulation of cryptocurrencies creates a systemic risk such that its growing cryptocurrency industry may be exploited by North Korea and affiliated networks.

Beyond isolated incidents, however, the prognosis once again fails to present an adequate picture as to the exact proliferation of North Korean involvement.

RUSI recommends six steps to mitigate future dangers, these including risk assessment, beefing up anti-money laundering procedures and increasing interregional cooperation.

What do you think about the RUSI report? Let us know in the comments below!

Images via Shutterstock

The post North Korea Cryptocurrency Report Urges Southeast Asia To ‘Mitigate’ Threat appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

15.04.2019 / 13:10 40
Unexpected Bitcoin Whale: North Korea May Own Millions In Crypto Unexpected Bitcoin Whale: North Korea
Bitcoin Can Help Kim Avoid Sanctions In a recent U.N. Security Council meeting, a panel of industry experts claimed that North Korea could have
UN Panel: North Korea Hacked $571M From Asian Crypto Exchanges UN Panel: North Korea Hacked $571M From
The U.N. Security Council has heard that North Korea uses cyberattacks and blockchain technology to evade economic sanctions and obtain foreign
North Korea Hacked Crypto Exchanges and Ran ICOs to Fund Regime: Report North Korea Hacked Crypto Exchanges and
According to cybersecurity firm Inksit Group, state-funded hackers in North Korea have been targeting crypto exchanges in South Korea to circumvent
South Korea Points to North Korea as Cryptojacking Culprit South Korea Points to North Korea as
South Korean intelligence officials are pointing toward North Korea as being the responsible party behind a string of cryptojacking cases across the
North Korea Taps Bitcoin to Circumvent US Sanctions, More Hacks to Follow North Korea Taps Bitcoin to Circumvent
North Korea seemingly wants to bypass the sanctions imposed upon the nation by the US government. Doing so will require a very creative approach. So
Trump Sanctions on North Korea Won't Stop Crypto Hacks, Senator Says Trump Sanctions on North Korea Won't
The Trump administration imposed new sanctions on North Korea last week, but one U.S. senator has said that the measures don't go far enough in
Comments (0)
Add a comment
Comment on