North Korea has denied the accusations that it has obtained around $2 billion through major hacks of banks and cryptocurrency exchanges, Reuters reported on Sunday.
The report cites a statement from the country’s official state media, the Korea Central News Agency (KCNA), in which the National Coordination Committee of the DPRK for Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism claims that the U.S. and “other hostile forces” have been spreading “ill-hearted rumors”. The statement reads:
“Such a fabrication by the hostile forces is nothing but a sort of a nasty game aimed at tarnishing the image of our Republic and finding justification for sanctions and pressure campaign against the DPRK.”
The “ill-hearted rumors” that the statement is referring to is a report, researched by independent experts, which was presented to the U.N. Security Council North Korea sanctions committee in July. The report claims that the DPRK has used “widespread and increasingly sophisticated” hacks to raise around $2 billion for its Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) program.
The U.N report also stated that attacks on cryptocurrency exchanges allow the DPRK to generate income, which is harder to track, and which is “subject to less government oversight and regulation than the traditional banking sector”. The experts have also said that they are currently investigating 35 DPRK cyber attacks across 17 countries, which were targeted at financial institutions, cryptocurrency exchanges and mining activities.