Malicious Software Funds North Korea With Monero Coins

Malicious Software Funds North Korea With Monero Coins

It is hardly surprising that cryptocurrencies have enjoyed such a success in the last year. They offer interconnectedness between traders; they offer anonymity since no financial mediators are required.

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It is hardly surprising that cryptocurrencies have enjoyed such a success in the last year. They offer interconnectedness between traders; they offer anonymity since no financial mediators are required. At the same time, traders are gaining large profits, other not as friendly blockchain users find digital money quite comfortable for money-laundering or funding criminals.

Speaking of suspicious activities, researchers’ findings suggest North Korea uses malicious software that mines Monero through the victims’ computers and sends it back to North Korea. The US cybersecurity firm, AlienVault reports that they have recently discovered a mining application, which installs itself in PCs and uses their capacity to mine Monero. Once mined, coins are sent to the University of Pyongyang.

Monero is the cryptocurrency with the 13th largest market capitalization and is supposedly providing more anonymity than Bitcoin. Its untraceable transactions make it perfect for funding Kim’s regime. Mining Monero is actually the process of solving equations, thus verifying transactions In return the miner is rewarded with tokens.

AlienVault researchers suggest that the server on which the app is running is not connected to the wider internet. More precisely, it is using only the university network. Their theory implies that the aim of the mining app is to trick security teams.

Due to its nuclear testing and missile launches, North Korea is suffering severe sanctions from both the United Nations and the USA. Here is where cryptocurrencies step in. They provide legal funds for the isolated country. Having that in mind, it is no surprise that the interest in them has increased in the North Korean universities.

Moreover, foreign experts on cryptocurrencies have been recently invited to shed some light on the matter of virtual money. The recently discovered application may be a result of their endeavors. However, this is not the first case when North Korea has been connected to Monero mining. Andariel, an anonymous group hacked South Korea company and mined Monero last year. Despite previous accusations, AlienVault has no evidence that Andariel is behind recent activities.

 

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