Key logistical and structural differences between U.S. and South Korean intelligence and law enforcement agencies restrict enhanced coordination on crucial cybersecurity vulnerabilities.
Although Washington and Seoul have previously cooperated on cyber-enabled financial crime cases, these joint efforts are often only in response to ongoing incidents and not preventative in nature. This significantly reduces their ability to predict and prevent future crimes as information sharing often occurs already after the initial hack and/or illicit cyber-activity has succeeded.
The United States and South Korea each possess unique strengths in combating the rise of cyber-enabled financial crime, but their true joint potential is largely untapped.
In likely response to rising levels of cyber-enabled financial crime, Washington and Seoul included specific language on creating a joint cyber working group to combat the spread of ransomware and online sexual exploitation in a May 2021 summit between U.S. President Joe Biden and South Korean President Moon Jae-in. However, the document outlining the summit failed to include coordination on issues related to the misuse of cryptocurrency and other financial technology – despite cybercriminals using crypto as a major source of financing for their illicit activity.
Dating back to roughly 2017, North Korean operatives have continuously employed ransomware to extort cryptocurrency from their victims and South Korea-based child pornography websites also request payments in cryptocurrency to view their illicit content. Including joint research and investigations on the exploitation of cryptocurrency and new financial technology is crucial to strengthening both U.S. and South Korean national security.
Read the full article from The Diplomat.
More from CNAS
Congressional TestimonyUnder the Radar
My testimony will address China’s progress in building out alternative payment systems, the strategic implications of growth in China’s alternative payment systems, and recomm...
By Emily Jin
ReportsRewire: Semiconductors and U.S. Industrial Policy
As the United States considers industrial policy for the first time in decades, it should learn lessons from prior government efforts to shape the semiconductor industry, in t...
By Chris Miller
CommentarySand in the silicon: Designing an outbound investment controls mechanism
Recent congressional efforts to establish new authorities to regulate outbound investment have revived a long-simmering debate in Washington about the economic and security ri...
By Emily Kilcrease & Sarah Bauerle Danzman
VideoThe Heat: President Xi Visits Central Asia
Rachel Ziemba joins CGTN America to discuss the significance of President Xi's visits to Central Asia. Watch the full interview from CGTN....
By Rachel Ziemba