Recent reports have sought to shed light on global crypto-currency thefts. Since the implementation of stricter sanctions against North Korea by the international community, the hermit kingdom has sought newer means of income. This desperation increased after China, their closest ally, jumped onboard with the sanctions and not only cut imports and exports with North Korea but also expelled North Korean businesses from China. North Korea has been focusing heavily on financial crimes through fraudulent SWIFT transactions as well as compromising crypto-currency exchanges around the world. A new report indicates that 65% of all crypto-currency stolen in 2017 ended up in North Korea. This 65% works out to be approximately $571 million USD, which is slightly less than 5% of North Korea’s GDP.
As North Korea continues to improve and refine their techniques, it is possible that the amount stolen by North Korea will continue to grow.