North Korea is using cyberattacks on banks and cryptocurrency exchanges to fund its weapons programs, according to a UN Security Council report.
The confidential report says Pyongyang has targeted banks and crypto-currency exchanges to collect cash.
At least 35 reported instances in 17 countries of North Korea-affiliated actors attacking financial institutions and cryptocurrency exchanges are currently under investigation, according to the report.
It adds that North Korea’s attacks against crypto-currency exchanges allowed it to “generate income in ways that are harder to trace and subject to less government oversight and regulation than the traditional banking sector”.\
Experts are also investigating cyber-mining activity designed to earn foreign currency.
The report also says North Korea has violated UN sanctions by means of illicit ship-to-ship transfers, as well as obtaining items related to weapons of mass destruction.
North Korea is cut off from conventional revenue sources by UN sanctions and is forbidden from exporting coal, iron, lead, textiles and seafood.