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North Korea might target Southeast Asia’s crypto-sectors, suggests RUSI report

Biraajmaan Tamuly

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North Korea might target the vulnerable crypto sectors around Southeast regions, according to Security and Defense report
Source: Pixabay

The Korean peninsula is rife with social and political differences ever since the Korean mainland was split between North and South Korea after the Korean War.

According to a report released by The Royal United Services Institute [RUSI], North Korea could target Southeast Asia’s vulnerable crypto-sector.

In the face of universal condemnation and sanctions over its domestic policies and nuclear program, North Korea has had to take extreme measures to raise funds and bypass these sanctions. One of the ways North Korea attempted to do so was through the use of cryptocurrencies and their underlying technology.

Cryptocurrencies have, as of now, played a negligible role in North Korea’s fundraising. However, UN Security Council’s Panel of Experts suggests that virtual assets offer North Korea “more ways to evade sanctions given that they are harder to trace”.

According to the report, countries across the Southeast are vulnerable to systematic risks as their regulatory approaches are weak, something North Korea can take advantage of. These systematic risks are based on the fact that Southeast Asia’s digital sector has a lack of coordinated regulations, the report stated.

The WannaCry ransomware attack, where hackers demanded about $300 in Bitcoin within 3 days or $600 within 7 days, was reliably attributed towards North Korea.

The attack indicated that North Korea’s capability to exploit weaknesses was more prominent than previously imagined. If North Korea continued to suffer under the strain of international sanctions, Southeast Asia must prepare for a “sustained security challenge”, the report said.

The report also cited the growing number of crypto-users in the region,

“Because Southeast Asia is also host to a growing number of cryptocurrency businesses and users, countries in the region could prove vulnerable to North Korea’s cryptocurrency-related activity as well.”

Countries in Southeast Asia must undertake risk assessments to identify key vulnerabilities and reduce its vulnerability to cyber-crimes related to cryptocurrency, the report said.

The report continued,

“If carried out with the appropriate urgency and in line with global standards, countries in the region can succeed in making themselves less vulnerable to the risks of North Korean cryptocurrency activity.”

However, the report also noted the fact that Malaysia, Philippines, and Thailand were working towards coordinated regulations for cryptocurrency exchanges, under the guidance of the intergovernmental Financial Action Task Force.





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Biraajmaan is an engineering graduate who is exploring the ever-changing crypto verse while traversing his passion for cryptocurrency news writing. He is a Chelsea fan and a part-time poet and does not hold any value in cryptocurrencies yet.

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GateHub: Stolen XRP funds transferred to prominent exchanges

Namrata Shukla

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GateHub stolen XRP funds moved to Bitfinex and OKEx
Source: Pixabay

The GateHub hack that took place earlier this month resulted in the exchange losing nearly 23 million XRP worth approximately $9 million. However, Whale Alert, a tracker of large crypto transactions, alerted the community of these stolen funds being moved to various different exchanges.

One of these exchanges was identified to be Bitfinex, which received 400,025 XRP on June 16 at 10:57:22 UTC. The sender’s address was r4hyDYXv7iV3oCahxQzqYYfgxwyBx3AyMN and was identified to be from the GateHub hack 2019. The receiver’s address was identified to be Bitfinex’s- r9o9MerrS7d2GAEs6JPj4v4JcvZAJNtLUY. The hash rate of the transaction was 21124F7818A2903E9750456D603CC9AACC9DBE6CE2EF0AA191C734339B4CA682 and the transaction details were as follows:

Source: Whale Alert

Source: Whale Alert

Another transaction was noted to take place to the Bitfinex wallet address where 100,000 XRP was transferred from another identified GateHub hack address. The identified Bitfinex’s wallet address was rDcz7P9YMpffLKhRBovTzhUr3wKtk3y9q7. This wallet address was quick to transfer the funds immediately to another exchange, OKEx. OKEx previously received 3,000 XRP from the stolen funds to an identified OKEx address- rUzWJkXyEtT8ekSSxkBYPqCvHpngcy6Fks. The hash rate of the transaction was noted to be BE97F68A20E996A2E1A37228DCBD45A1F26E8E2B3A842E9FCFFF7721157C1C37 and following were the transaction details:

Source: Whale Alert

Source: Whale Alert

The stolen funds were moved to another prominent exchange, Binance, and CZ was swift to inform Whale Alert that he would look into it. However, the crypto users did not find any relief about these funds going to other exchanges as the exchanges did not respond to the large transactions.





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