On May 25, Binance made an announcement regarding the seizure of approximately $4.4 million worth of cryptocurrency that belonged to fronts associated with North Korean organizations operating both within the country and abroad.
Due to the sanctions imposed on North Korea, agents associated with the nation have frequently resorted to illicit means, including crypto theft, to raise funds.
According to the U.S. Department of Treasury, the seized funds were intended to be sent to the Pyongyang University of Automation, known for training notorious North Korean hackers, and the North Korean Technical Reconnaissance Bureau, which employs these malicious actors.
The majority of cybercriminals trained at the Pyongyang University of Automation are affiliated with the 110th Research Center, the unit responsible for operating the Lazarus Group and similar organizations.
To finance these entities, North Korean IT professionals, often based in Russia and China, seek employment in companies worldwide, diverting their salaries to the North Korean government. However, the latest funding attempt was thwarted through the joint efforts of the U.S. Government and Binance.
Brian Nelson, spokesperson for the U.S. Treasury, expressed gratitude to their “partners in the private sector” for their assistance. He added that the action further emphasizes the extensive illicit cyber and IT operations of the DPRK, which fund the regime’s illicit weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs. He further added that the United States and its partners remain dedicated to combating the DPRK’s activities in generating illicit revenue and their ongoing attempts to steal funds from financial institutions, virtual currency exchanges, companies, and individuals worldwide.
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Binance has faced criticism in the past for allegedly not taking sufficient measures to prevent cybercriminals and extremist groups from obtaining funds from supporters around the globe. However, the company has refuted these allegations, asserting that it takes extensive measures to combat such activities.