Youbit, a South Korean cryptocurrency exchange, recently filed for bankruptcy as hackers stole from its Bitcoin reserves. Authorities suspect North Korea was involved.

The incident of digital thievery reportedly happened on Dec. 19, which reportedly took an estimated 17 percent of its total cryptocurrency assets. Sources involved with the current investigation suspect that the country's northern neighbor might be involved.

Ransomware Precedent

Earlier this year, North Korea was also suspected to have been involved with the WannaCry ransomware attacks. The script used by the hackers allowed them to encrypt the data of the infected computer, which was then held for ransom in exchange for payments made using the Bitcoin cryptocurrency.

Similar Incidents Recorded Prior To Latest Attack

Information gathered from several reports revealed that there were other documented attacks that happened this year. Several cryptocurrency exchanges based in South Korea including Yapizon, which was Youbit's predecessor, were also victims of cyber attacks that targeted Bitcoin and other types of cryptocurrency.

North Korea was supposedly involved in all of the above-mentioned incidents.

Possibly Another Angle

Due to North Korea's alleged involvement with the WannaCry ransomware attacks and the recent Youbit hack, analysts would quickly assume that their government plans to fund their weapons program using cryptocurrency like Bitcoin.

However, another source wanted to shift the authorities' focus to Youbit's most recent activity, which could probably help with the investigation. According to a source, on Dec. 1, 2017, the company secured a cyber-insurance policy from DB Insurance Co for a year of protection.

Their transaction was conducted just a few weeks before the hacking incident bankrupted the insuree.

Sanctions Prompted Attacks

A few months ago, it was noted that North Korea suddenly developed an interest regarding cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. The country's desire for the digital funds supposedly grew as the United Nations Security Council issued sanctions against them.

Experts agree that dictatorship can freely use the digital funds due to the absence of regulatory obstructions. Luke McNamara, a cybersecurity expert from FireEye inc., believes that the recent attacks related to cryptocurrency show how desperate the North Korean government has become.

"This is an adversary that we have been watching become increasingly capable and also brazen in terms of the targets they are willing to go after," said McNamara.

Hacker Army

Intelligence gathered from North Korea confirms that internet access is strictly limited to a few selected groups in the country.

South Korea believes that its northern enemy started to train their cyber army as early as the 1990s. Their targets are apparently not limited to Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. Any financial institution or intelligence groups are all possible targets in the future.

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