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New Report Finds North Korean Mining of XMR Increased Tenfold in 2019, Online Activity 300%

A report published by cybersecurity organization Insikt Group claims internet use in North Korea has grown significantly in the past three years. The group cites a “300% increase in the volume of activity to and from North Korean networks since 2017,” and part of this activity involves monero (XMR) mining. Insikt observes a tenfold increase in mining of the privacy coin by the DPRK since May 2019.


Though the global internet is used only by elite parties in the communist nation, crypto is said to be mined in an effort to avoid Western sanctions, with monero likely “more attractive than Bitcoin” according the group, thanks to its anonymity.


North Korean Mining


New Report by Insikt Group on North Korean Mining Activity


Insikt Group, a division of private cybersecurity firm Recorded Future, has just released a new report on internet activity in North Korea which finds that both internet usage and mining of monero have increased drastically in recent months.


“For this research, Insikt Group examined North Korean senior leadership’s internet activity by analyzing third-party data, IP geolocation, Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) routing tables, network traffic analysis, and open source intelligence (OSINT) using a number of tools,” the paper states. “The data analyzed for this report spans from January 1, 2019 to November 1, 2019.”


As global internet usage is restricted to elite parties and political officials in the communist regime, findings on crypto mining and network usage can be viewed as all the more compelling. Insikt observes:


For the North Korean political and military elite, the 2019 data show that the internet is not simply a fascination or leisure activity, but is a critical tool for revenue generation, gaining access to prohibited technologies and knowledge, and operational coordination.


The report analyzes the global internet, accessible only to these parties, and does not focus on activity occurring via “Kwangmyong,” the country’s domestic intranet. Read More...