Half of North Korea’s Missile Programs Funded by Stolen Crypto

• The White House has revealed that North Korea has funded half of its missile tests through cryptocurrency theft and cyberattacks.
• Chainalysis reported that North Korean hackers have stolen $1.7 billion in digital assets in 2022.
• US intelligence agencies are working to identify these bad actors and trace the stolen funds.

North Korea Weaponizing Crypto

The White House has recently revealed that North Korea is using cryptocurrency theft and cyberattacks to fund their missile tests, with approximately half of their war efforts being paid for by stolen digital assets. This alarming news was confirmed by the Deputy National Security Adviser for cyber and emerging technology Anne Neuberger, who said that US intelligence agencies were trying to understand how a country like North Korea had become so adept at this type of activity.

Chainalysis Report on Crypto Theft

A report released by Chainalysis earlier this year suggested that North Korean hackers had embezzled $1.7 billion worth of digital assets in 2022 alone, making them one of the most prominent hacking collectives globally. The Lazarus Group – a notorious local hacking collective – was responsible for numerous exploits last year, including the infamous $625 million breach on Ronin Network.

US Government Working To Trace Stolen Assets

To combat the threat from North Korean hackers, the Biden administration is committed to identifying them and tracing any stolen funds they have managed to acquire. In order to do this, US intelligence agencies have been tasked with understanding how these bad actors operate in order to prevent similar attacks from occurring in the future.

Global Response Needed

Given the fact that many countries around the world are now relying heavily on cryptocurrencies as a form of payment, it is essential that governments take steps to protect against these types of cyberattacks and thefts. As such, international cooperation may be necessary if we are ever going to effectively tackle North Korea’s weaponization of cryptoassets .


Overall it is clear that North Korea’s use of crypto theft and cyberattacks is an issue that must be addressed urgently if we are ever going to see an end to their weaponization of digital assets. The US government’s commitment towards identifying those responsible for these crimes should be commended but more needs to be done if we want to ensure our security against such threats in the future.

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