It has been found recently that there appears to be a software installed in the server at a North Korean university which is mining for cryptocurrency. It sends any mined coins to the server and is a sign that North Korea could be looking for new ways to get money infused into their economy.
The application was created on December 24th. It uses multiple host computers in order to mine for Monero, a cryptocurrency. Any coins found are sent to the Kim Sung University, according to the cybersecurity firm known as AlienVault. These currencies may be able to help in a financial manner a country which has been hit very hard by sanctions. The security firm also stated that this might be their most recent endeavor to bringing in more money.
The cybersecurity firm also wanted to add in their statements that it doesn’t appear that the server in North Korea which is mining these coins is connected to a wider internet. The university involved did not take time to respond to any requests for comments regarding this find. Government officials were also not available to comment on these issues.
With the new sanctions in place in North Korea’s economy, the cryptocurrencies are now a prime way for them to earn foreign currency. It can be practically untraceable and is able to be laundered many times over. Many cryptocurrency watchers say that the value of Monero is very valuable and is more appealing than bitcoin for those that value a crypto asset that is secret.
Monero funds usually go to a randomly-generated address that is used a single time for payments. This is why it is much less traceable than bitcoin. Bitcoin transactions are anonymous, yet can be linked to specific and private addresses. Bithumb is South Korea’s busiest exchange for cryptocurrency. It is also the largest exchange for trading Monero. The independence of these types of currencies from government regulations makes them perfect for transactions which are covert.
The ability for covert transactions makes this type of exchange extra appealing for countries like Russia, Venezuela, Iran and North Korea. They can use this as a way to exploit non-governmental blockchains for their own interests. For some, it is to no surprise that these currencies are becoming the target interest of regimes which operate in many ways like criminal enterprises. Another report given suggested that the same server that is mining these coins has also downloaded a TV series and other documentaries.