UN investigating 35 cyberattacks by North Korea, including one against Malta

North Korea is believed to have acquired as much as $2 billion to funds it’s weapons programmes through such attacks

North Korea is believed to have been behind a cyberattack on BOV last February
North Korea is believed to have been behind a cyberattack on BOV last February

Malta was one of the countries believed to have suffered a cyberattack at the hands of groups working for North Korea, according to the summary of a report by UN experts.

The report, seen by Reuters and the Associated Press, is said to have presented to the UN Security Council North Korea sanctions committee, said that North Korea had accumulated upwards of $2 billion dollars through similar attacks.

It is believed that the attack referred to in connection to Malta was the attack on Bank of Valletta last February, which saw hackers steal €13 million. The bank has since recovered €10 million.

Malta was one of thirteen countries that is said to have suffered one attack, as had Costa Rica, Guatemala, Kuwait, Liberia, Malaysia, Gambia, Tunisia, Vietnam, South Africa, Slovenia, Poland and Nigeria.

South Korea was the victim of 10 attacks by its neighbour to the north. India suffered three attacks, with Bangladesh and Chile suffering two each.

The report outlines three main methods used in each of the cyberattacks, including attacks through banks’ SWIFT system used to transfer money between banks, the theft of cryptocurrency and the “mining of cryptocurrency as a source of funds for a professional branch of the military”.

The methods were described as being “low-risk and high yield” requiring very little investment in equipment.

In addition to the attack on Bank of Valletta, a second bank is also believed to have been targeted over the past year however efforts to infiltrate its systems are believed to have been unsuccessful.

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