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Bitcoin price increases see North Korean hackers increase attacks

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The South Korean Internet Security Authority reported an alarming increase in malware attacks by North Korean hackers in search of bitcoin to finance the Kim Jong Un regime.

A new report from the Korean Internet Security Agency (KISA), the authority responsible for maintaining and safeguarding the country's Internet space, has highlighted an increasing number of Malware attacks suspected to be from North Korea.

As reported by the Korean news agency Yonhap, malicious code cases reported between July and September of this year increased to 452, up from 436 in the second quarter. The cases of ransomware – a cybersecurity attack where victims are extorted in encryption like bitcoin to regain access to their disabled computers – increased by 3.7x between January and September, at 5,366 compared to 1,438 in Last year.

A KISA official said:

Hackers successfully propagate malicious code not only to search for bitcoins, but also to attack websites directly.

North Korean hackers have been accused of stealing 100 million euros in bitcoin (about $ 90,000) each month between 2013 and 2015. In September, the FireEye cybersecurity company disclosed the details of a state-funded North Korean piracy campaign to steal bitcoin from cryptocurrency exchanges in South Korea.

An excerpt from the report revealed that the theft was to fill "the personal coffers of the Pyongyang elite", stating:

State-backed actors seeking to steal bitcoin and other virtual currencies in order to escape sanctions and obtain foreign currency [safe haven] to fund the diet.

One of the many attacks included a notable hacking of the South Korean bitcoin exchange Yapizon, where hackers got rid of $ 5 million in user funds and bitcoin .

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More recently, an official at the Cyber ​​Warfare Intelligence Center (CWIC) in South Korea reported a number of phishing attempts by North Korean hackers targeting South Korean exchanges with e-mails containing malware.

All of this led to a thorough investigation by the South Korean National Police (NPA). In its official report, the authority confirmed that North Korean hackers have targeted and continue to target bitcoin exchanges in the country. The details of the survey revealed a total of 25 employees at 4 exchanges of domestic bitcoins subject to at least 10 separate phishing scams coming from a North Korean IP address previously related to d & # 39; other hacking attempts against Seoul.

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