South Korean Intelligence Blame North Korea for Alleged Crypto Thefts

Alan Wass

Intelligence officials in South Korea are blaming their neighbors for a string of crypto thefts in the wake of an international inspection across suspected nuclear testing sites in North Korea.

A report from South Korea’s National Intelligence Services (NIS) has claimed that North Korean hackers are performing crypto mining operations with hacked computers from users in the South, which they are allegedly using to steal funds.

Accusing North Korea of Cryptojacking

South Korean intelligence officers believe that North Korean crypto-miners are using hacked computers to generate money to fund the faltering economy in the North.

Officials believe they are still using the same malware that was discovered in January this year by the cybersecurity company AlienVault. At the time, the firm found malware applications that were supposedly used by the North Korean crypto-jackers to hack South Korean computers which they then used to mine crypto.

The strained relationships between the North and South are well publicized, and this latest claim by the NIS is another in the catalog of disagreements between the two neighboring nations.

Tracking the Korean Crypto Thefts

The NIS believe that the North Korean crypto-jacking group used malware to find Monero (XMR) mines, which is a cryptocurrency that is often targeted by hackers.

The group allegedly then went on to send the stolen XMR to a server at the Kim II Sung University, which is located in North Korea’s capital city of Pyongyang.  South Korean officials  are considering the possibility that the funds are being used to bolster the local North Korean economy.

Financial experts Lourdes Miranda and Ross Delston believe that North Korea, alongside the likes of Russia and Iran, are  looking at the possibility of implementing a national cryptocurrency to circumvent US sanctions.