PYONGYANG: North Korea earned as much as $2 billion through cyberattacks to help fund its weapons programs, a United Nations (UN) report said.
The report, submitted to the UN North Korea sanctions committee, accuses North Korea of using hackers to conduct “forced illegal transfers of funds from financial institutions and cryptocurrency exchanges, launder stolen proceeds and created income to avoid international sanctions.”
Investigators say those activities might help fund North Korea’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile development.
The allegations were published in an early draft of a biannual report authored by a panel of independent experts that work for the UN monitoring sanctions on North Korea.
Previous reports from the panel have also accused Pyongyang of evading sanctions through illicit behavior.
A summary of the report was obtained by CNN and its content verified by a UN diplomat who declined to be identified. The North Korean mission to the UN did not immediately respond to inquiries for comment.
Experts say that North Korea had invested significant resources in developing a sophisticated array of cyber capabilities and a robust network of hackers who have increasingly been used to evade United Nations and US sanctions.