back to article North Korea attacks Bitcoin bods to swell its war chest says FireEye

North Korea appears to have commenced online attacks aimed at acquiring Bitcoin so it can evade sanctions. South Korea's Cyber Warfare Research Center alleged a few weeks ago that at least one Bitcoin exchange had been targeted by a Nork hack, and now FireEye threat researcher Luke McNamara writes that “since May 2017, we have …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How is North Korea going to spend these bitcoins?

    Drugs? Guns? Assassins for hire? Pizza? Removal of Ransomware?

    and isn't this the same FireEye that lost all credibility?

    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/09/11/equifax_incident_response_omnishambles/

    Do they know their arse from their elbow?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      One of two ways. Use crypto-currencies directly to purchase what they need in various black markets or they convert to fiat currencies and use them around the world. Despite all efforts to the contrary, goods still arrive in North Korea over the various smuggling channels that long been in place along the borders with the PRC and with Russia. Short of an absolute blockade with thousands of troops, you aren't going to shut those down. This is all an old game for DPRK predating US and ROK interests in keeping them isolated as a result of their nuclear program.

    2. B0rg

      I'm not an expert in economics but; where there is demand - supply usually follows. Welcome to Nork-Bay 1.0

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Think as sanctions as a funnel. Same amount of goods , they just have to be traded through a narrower funnel.

      It just the return funnel goes to a few elites and not the main population. A bit like capitalism really.

  2. jmch Silver badge
    Headmaster

    "A North Korea appears to ..."

    Is there more than one North Korea? And which one of them is robbing bitcoins?

  3. K
    Linux

    North Korea's efforts are already traceable

    Being traceable is one thing.. putting a stop to it is much more difficult.

    Penguin.. because the Dear Leader looks and waddles like one!

  4. wolfetone Silver badge

    What's that? A South Korean agency is saying a long time enemy of theirs is doing something naughty to side step sanctions?

    I do truly believe that to be a very unbiased report.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bitcoin holders, I strongly advise you to sell now because if NK is acquiring Bitcoins then there will be forces out there doing their best to destabilise the BC market and you'll be left with just worthless electrons. The same said forces have had BC in their sights for some time so whether NK is or isn't is moot, they're coming for it.

    1. Teiwaz

      Sell sell sell.

      Bitcoin holders, I strongly advise you to sell now because if NK is acquiring Bitcoins then there will be forces out there.....

      How will people pay to get/not get their data released when the next wave of ransomware/locker attacks popular Os's/windows in a year/few months?

    2. Andy The Hat Silver badge

      Bitcoins are real, they're actual things and I believe in them. I'm about to give my hard-earned to a really reliable organisation run by a bloke I totally trust that I met online in a country where stuff is obviously nice in exchange for a really secure investment opportunity. I think everyone should put money into them ... along with time shares and a nice Spectrum retro-games opportunity ...

    3. MonkeyCee

      Indeed

      Plus that mainstay of financial propriety, Dimon of JP Morgan has told us all that not only are BTC a scam, only useful for money launderers and criminals, but also JP employees are banned from trading in it.

      This advice is well worth taking. If anyone is an expert on money laundering and financial scams, it's probably JP Morgan. They managed the main Madoff accounts and copped a few billion in fines for that, plus a few billion more in fines for other money laundering laundering (cartel money maybe?) schemes in last few years.

      They are also part of the ETH aliance, so either Dimon knows something we don't about BTC vs other cryptos, or he simply doesn't know what his employees are doing (I believe that is a cornerstone of his defence).

      So when one of the people in the world who do get to make money up from nothing, and has facilitated money laundering and ponzi schemes in the past, tells you that something is a scam you should probably listen. Oh, and he's so confident it's a scam and is going to lose value, he's not going to short it since he reckons it could get to 20k a piece before it crashes.

      As for damage done to BTC trading by NK actions, I'd humbly suggest that ICOs are doing far more to increase volatility and stability issues.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How will people pay to get/not get their data released when the next wave of ransomware/locker attacks popular Os's/windows in a year/few months?

    Potatoes

    1. Mystic Megabyte
      Happy

      @AC

      I'll trade you 10 of your potatoes for one of my magic beans.

      1. JJKing
        Happy

        Re: @AC

        I'll trade you 10 of your potatoes for one of my magic beans.

        For 5 magic beans, I will trade you my cow.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: @AC

          Where's my cow? Buggrit!

  7. katrinab Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Fire eye

    Are these the people who kept Equifax totally secure?

    I had never heard of them before this morning.

    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/09/11/equifax_incident_response_omnishambles/

  8. Herby

    Maybe...

    The ransomware is being promulgated by the NORKs themselves. They asked for payment in BTC, now they want to cash out.

    You never know!

    Of course it may be a bit difficult to get those fake $100 bills converted, but they will still try.

  9. Andrew Moore

    A simple solution...

    just cut NK's access to the internet...

  10. JJKing

    Nork's fake US $100 bills.

    Of course it may be a bit difficult to get those fake $100 bills converted,

    Saw a program where a Secret Service agent bought some $100 notes for $30 each and the Los Angeles branch office told him they were genuine. I believe this was after the added security features of 1996. It was only when the notes were sent to the Washington lab that they could determine they were counterfeit.

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