UN sanctions monitors suspect N.Korea stole 3.6 billion dollars in cyberattacks

UN sanctions monitors suspect North Korea was behind 97 cyberattacks involving the theft of 3.6 billion dollars' worth of cryptocurrency between 2017 and April 2024.

The monitors were members of a Security Council expert panel overseeing the enforcement of sanctions on North Korea. The panel was disbanded at the end of April after Russia vetoed the renewal of its mandate.

UN diplomatic sources say some of the monitors submitted their unfinished work to the Security Council's North Korea sanctions committee on Friday.

In their report, the monitors allege that North Korea stole cryptocurrency worth 147.5 million dollars from an exchange and laundered it in March using a crypto mixer service.

A mixer service mashes up cryptocurrencies of many users together to obscure the origin and ownership of the funds.

The report says the stolen money is being used to fund North Korea's nuclear and missile development programs.

It is feared the disbanding of the expert panel will weaken the UN's ability to monitor North Korea's violations of sanctions.