South Korea’s intelligence service has accused North Korea of illegal cryptocurrency mining. Illegal mining is not uncommon, though the South Korean intelligence agency believes the hacks extend past just cryptocurrency. Here’s a closer look at the allegations.
South Korea’s Allegations
In a preliminary audit, the South Korean intelligence agency stated that North Korea is conducting illegal cyber activity. Namely, they were accused of computer hacking and illegal cryptocurrency mining in efforts to bring more money into the country.
Furthermore, they are hacking computers, both in South Korea and other places in the world, to access and steal confidential information. This isn’t the first time South Korean authorities have encountered illegal crypto mining. In the spring of 2018, authorities arrested people accused of running an illegal mining farm.
Illegal Cryptocurrency Mining
Like everything else, cryptocurrency is subject to many hacks and scams. A common result of malicious intent in the crypto sphere is illegal mining. Illegal mining takes place when a miner hacks into another individual’s computer and uses their excess power to mine.
As mining requires a great deal of computing power, it can be incredibly expensive. In fact, Bitcoin’s annual carbon footprint is bigger than Switzerland’s. Therefore, hacking in and using someone else’s unused power allows dishonest miners to gain the mining payouts without the associated expenditure.
Many coins are subject to illegal cryptocurrency mining and other practices, though some are more vulnerable than others. In this case, North Korea has allegedly been focusing on Monero (XMR) for their illegal mining practices.
North Korea Illegally Mines Monero
In September, a report surfaced which indicated that 85% of all illegal mining targets Monero (XMR). Many mining malware practices target Monero (XMR) because the cryptocurrency can be generated by consumer hardware. Therefore, miners don’t have to depend on expensive equipment to mine that specific digital currency.
Cryptocurrency has emerged as a viable financial alternative to countries who are experiencing fluctuation. Though, illegal mining across borders can be incredibly dangerous. Illegal mining poses a threat to the safety of an individuals computer, information, and identity. Furthermore, the practice itself can cause inconsistencies in the financial climates from country to country if conducted at high volume.
What do accusations regarding illegal mining in North Korea mean for other countries?