North Korea has been funding its nuclear and ballistic missile programs with profits from cyberattacks on crypto exchanges, Reuters reported, citing a confidential United Nations (U.N.) report.

Fast facts

  • “According to a member state, DPRK cyberactors stole more than US$50 million between 2020 and mid-2021 from at least three cryptocurrency exchanges in North America, Europe and Asia,” Reuters quoted the U.N. report as saying.
  • The report was submitted by independent sanctions monitors on Friday evening to the U.N. Security Council North Korea sanctions committee.
  • Blockchain forensics firm Chainalysis recently revealed that state-backed hackers from North Korea stole almost US$400 million worth of cryptocurrencies from at least seven cyberattacks last year.
  • The U.N. report gave a larger figure, saying North Korea raised US$2 billion from cyberattacks in 2019 to develop weapons of mass destruction.
  • North Korea conducted nine ballistic missile launches in January, the largest by the hermit state in a single month.