According to a confidential UN report, North Korea finances the development of weapons at the expense of cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies stolen from banks and cryptocurrency exchanges.

According to the message
Reuters, a report created by “independent experts” and submitted last week to the UN Security Council Sanctions Committee on North Korea says that the DPRK carried out “large-scale and increasingly sophisticated” hacks to steal approximately $2 billion, which is laundered via the Internet.

The Reuters news agency reported that the North Korean mission to the UN did not comment on the data of the report.

According to reports, experts have studied “at least 35 registered cases when North Korean entities attacked financial institutions, cryptocurrency exchanges and mining enterprises in order to obtain foreign currency” in about 17 countries. Many of North Korea’s hackers operate under the auspices of the General Bureau of Intelligence, an intelligence agency that deals with covert operations.

The UN report says that the hacking of cryptocurrency exchanges allowed North Korea to ” generate income in a way that is more difficult to track and which is subject to less state supervision and regulation than the traditional banking sector.”

US President Donald Trump has met several times with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to discuss the abandonment of the nuclear weapons program. Reuters asked a representative of the US State Department to comment on the UN report and received a response:

“We call on all responsible states to take measures to counter North Korea’s ability to conduct malicious cyber activities that generate income in support of its illegal programs to create weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles.”

North Korea has been repeatedly associated with major hacks in the cryptocurrency industry. Last fall, Group-IB claimed that the North Korean hacker group Lazarus stole $571 million in cryptocurrencies. In December, it was also reported that North Korean hackers are hunting
for cryptocurrencies of ordinary users. In addition, in the spring, according to data provided by East Security, North Korean hackers
attempted a phishing attack on users of the South Korean Upbit exchange