What do you buy with ill-gotten cyber gains? If you're Mr. Kim, a few implosion weapons and some launch vehicles.
Reuters on Monday saw a report on North Korean cyber operations the United Nations Security Council received last week. Pyongyang's extensive, state-operated cybercrime program has raised some $2 billion since its inception. The starting date of the cybercrime operations isn't stated in the fragments of the report so far released, but Computing observes that the UN significantly tightened sanctions on North Korea in 2006. Pyongyang is thought to use the money to pay for its weapons of mass destruction, essentially its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. Foreign banks and cryptocurrencies are the principal targets.
Cyber operations accompany regional tension in the Middle East
According to the Wall Street Journal, Bahrain has sustained incursions into the networks of its National Security Agency (whose mission is criminal investigation), the Ministry of Interior, the first deputy prime minister’s office, the Electricity and Water Authority, and manufacturer Aluminum Bahrain. Bahrain believes the activity was the work of regional rival Iran, and that the activity directed against the Electricity and Water Authority amounted to staging and rehearsal for an attack on critical infrastructure.
The US Maritime Administration has issued a formal warning of Iranian cyber interference with shipping in the region. The principal concern is GPS spoofing.