North Korea’s crypto-heists show vulnerabilities in Western security: experts
North Korea’s tireless cryptocurrency theft operations have highlighted vulnerabilities in the U.S. security ecosystem, raising questions of safety in the face of more effective cyberthreats from Russia and China. “They’ve gotten into U.S. government websites,” Bruce Klingner, senior research fellow for northeast Asia at the Heritage Foundation, told Fox News Digital. “They’ve gotten into the U.S. financial systems, companies, systems, [and] they were even going after COVID vaccine companies like Pfizer and others to try to get information on the vaccine.” “It really is an amazingly extensive and capable system,” he added. Some estimates indicate Pyongyang stole approximately $400 million in 2022 and took in $1 billion in the first nine months of 2022, making cryptocurrency a significant source of income. North Korean hackers were able to secure $615 million in assets in March alone, making it the largest cryptocurrency heist on record. What started as purely espionage-based cyberattacks quickly led to extensive and sophisticated operations to obtain cryptocurrency in order to fund missile programs and other military operations.