NoKo’s Crypto Hackers Are Paving the Road to Nuclear Armageddon

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North Korea has quietly become a cryptocurrency superpower. It has stolen billions in bitcoin and ether and is funneling profits to its nuclear weapons program.

It was a strange and unproductive interview. Worst of all, it was the first of many. Garlock, the founder of the Stella Talent Partners recruitment firm, soon encountered another, nearly identical candidate. Then another, and another and another.

“I got annoyed after a while, because it was a total waste of time,” Garlock said. “I originally thought the scam was that they were offshore, trying to take advantage of remote work to just get a salary for not working.”

“Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, so that the way of the kings from the east might be prepared.” Revelation 16:12 

North Korea's Crypto Hackers Are Paving the Road to Nuclear Armageddon - CNET

Now there’s a new hypothesis: The people interviewing for jobs were North Koreans trying to siphon money to the reclusive nation. That’s in accord with warnings from both the FBI and the Treasury Department, which have cautioned about North Korea’s escalating risk to the cryptocurrency industry.

The danger is more than theoretical, as one catastrophic hack in March showed. The Lazarus Group, a hacking outfit associated with  North Korea’s government, managed to drain over $600 million in crypto from a blockchain used by NFT game Axie Infinity. North Korean hackers stole $840 million in the first five months of 2022, according to Chainalysis data, over $200 million more than they’d plundered in 2020 and 2021 combined.

That is of extraordinary consequence. About a third of the crypto North Korea loots goes into its weapons program, including nuclear weapons.

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