North Korea has been setting up fake ICO projects to fund its regime. On top of that they are using state-funded hackers to target crypto exchanges in South Korea. Those are findings from cybersecurity film Inksit Group published in a blog on their website.
The main reason North Korea is diving into crypto, is to circumvent trading sanctions from countries like South Korea and the United States. Just like Iran, North Korea is isolated from the SWIFT money transfer network. This makes it more difficult for the country to trade goods and conduct business.
This year North Korea has been accused of being involved in several crypto exchange hacks. Inksit Group claimed the country was targeting South Korean cryptocurrency users in late 2017. One of the prime suspects in these cases is hacking group Lazarus, which funded by the North Korean government.
This hacking collective has hacked 14 cryptocurrency exchanges. Among the victims is the South Korean exchange Bithumb, which was hacked twice! Lazarus supposedly has stolen at least 882 million dollars worth of cryptocurrencies since January 2017.
Besides the hacks there are also ICO scams created, allegedly, by the North Korean government. According to Inksit Group a company called Marine Chain was responsible for a fraudulent project. On top of that a group of pro-North Korea loyalists created various ICO scams. There’s no mention about the amount of money that was scammed from investors, but Marine Chain has been dormant for the past few months.