How North Korea is Using Cryptocurrency

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According to a new report, a cybersecurity company has stated that they found software appearing to install code for mining cryptocurrency with the server based at a North Korean University. This is one of the newest signs that North Korea is working on criminal activities possibly involving that of cryptocurrency. The application was created towards the end of December, and hosts a service that mines a cryptocurrency known as Monero. Once this is mined, it is sent to the aforementioned server at the North Korean university in the capital of the country.

“Crypto-currencies may provide a financial lifeline to a country hit hard by sanctions, and as a result universities in Pyongyang have shown a clear interest in cryptocurrencies,” the California-based security firm said in a release, adding that the software “may be the most recent product of their endeavors.” The company further stated that the North Korean server used a code that does not appear to be added to the larger internet, which lead the monitors right to where the code was coming from. The university obviously did not reach out to make any comments, and neither did the government in the state. This is extremely characteristic of the communist country, but many are worried that it will continue to occur.

According to statement “With economic sanctions in place, cryptocurrencies are currently the best way to earn foreign currency in North Korea’s situation. It is hard to trace and can be laundered several times,” said Mun Chong-hyun, chief analyst at South Korean cybersecurity firm ESTsecurity. Cryptocurrency watchers have been quoted stating that the currency known as Monero can be used easily for criminal activity because it has such a high emphasis on anonymity. The hopes are high that this illegal activity can slow down in the near future.

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