North Korea Crypto Theft Hit Record High Last Year, UN Says: Reuters

The estimated value of stolen crypto assets ranges to as high as $1 billion.

AccessTimeIconFeb 7, 2023 at 9:26 a.m. UTC
Updated May 9, 2023 at 4:07 a.m. UTC

North Korea stole a record amount of cryptocurrency last year, according to a United Nations report, Reuters said Tuesday.

"A higher value of cryptocurrency assets was stolen by DPRK actors in 2022 than in any previous year," a report submitted to the 15-member U.N. council for North Korea sanctions said. The country's official name is Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Estimates of the value taken ranged from $630 million, according to South Korea, to over $1 billion, according to an unspecified cybersecurity firm.

Most cyberattacks were carried out by groups controlled by the Reconnaissance General Bureau, North's Korea's primary intelligence agency. These include hacking teams known by names such as Kimsuky, Lazarus Group and Andariel.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) recently linked North Korea to the $100 million theft of crypto assets from Horizon Bridge, a service enabling crypto assets to be traded between the Harmony blockchain and other networks, which took place in June.

The thefts are used “to support North Korea’s ballistic missile and Weapons of Mass Destruction programs,” the FBI said.


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.

CoinDesk - Unknown

Jamie Crawley is a CoinDesk news reporter based in London.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.

Read more about