November 13, 2020

Why Is North Korea So Good at Cybercrime?

By Jason Bartlett

Despite U.S. and U.N. sanctions designed to stop the illicit financing of nuclear weapons, North Korea continues to baffle the world with its unprecedented success in sanctions evasions and cybercrime. As countries scramble to find consensus on cybersecurity protocols, North Korea has moved quickly to expand its cyber capabilities both at home and abroad. This signals to U.S. policymakers that as sanctions tighten in other areas, North Korea continues to exploit the vulnerabilities in cybersecurity to acquire funds for its dangerous nuclear weapons development program.

North Korea continues to exploit the vulnerabilities in cybersecurity to acquire funds for its dangerous nuclear weapons development program.

The cyber market’s size and lack of legal safeguards is a major attraction for North Korean financial crime as the country’s cyber operations are low-risk and low-cost, with potentially high gains. According to Nam Jae-joon, former director of South Korea’s National Intelligence Service, Kim Jong Un himself equated the importance of developing cyber capabilities to that of nuclear power, claiming that “cyber warfare, along with nuclear weapons and missiles, is an ‘all-purpose sword’ that guarantees our [North Korea’s] military’s capability to strike relentlessly.”

Read the full article in The Diplomat.

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