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UN Investigating North Korean Cyber Attacks in Gambia, 16 Other Countries

A group of UN experts are investigating alleged cyber attacks by North Korea in 17 countries, including The Gambia.

Quoting the experts’ report, the Associated Press last week reported that North Korea illegally acquired “as much as two billion dollars” from its increasingly sophisticated cyber activities against financial institutions and cryptocurrency.

According to the report, the UN experts are investigating at least 35 instances in which North Korea launched cyber attack in the 17 countries to illegally raise money for its nuclear program. The experts warn these are as attempted violations of UN sanctions.

Other countries reportedly targeted include Nigeria, Liberia, South Africa, Tunisia, South Korea and India.

According to AP, the report cites three main ways that North Korean cyber hackers operate:

  • Attacks through the SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) system used to transfer money between banks, “with bank employee computers and infrastructure accessed to send fraudulent messages and destroy evidence.”
  • Theft of cryptocurrency “through attacks on both exchanges and users.”
  • And “mining of cryptocurrency as a source of funds for a professional branch of the military.”

It is not clear when North Korea launched the alleged cyber attack on The Gambia, or whether it was successful.

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