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North Korean state-sponsored hackers are trying to steal bitcoin to evade sanctions, report says

North Korea is trying to steal bitcoin and other virtual currencies to avoid sanctions and fund Kim Jong Un's regime, according to a report.

The report, published Monday by cybersecurity firm FireEye, found that North Korean hackers had targeted at least three South Korean cryptocurrency exchanges with the suspected aim of stealing the digital tokens.

According to FireEye, hackers used spear phishing — a fraudulent method of sending emails to make them look like they were sent by someone you know — and dispersed malware to obtain virtual cash illicitly.

Hackers affiliated with the North Korea have previously been accused of using cyberattacks to target banks.

FireEye logged suspicious activity affecting the exchanges over several months. In April, four wallets on the Seoul-based cryptocurrency exchange Yapizon were compromised, but could not be clearly linked to North Korean involvement. Later in May, the firm monitored a spear phishing attack that successfully compromised an exchange.

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