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North Korea accused of cryptocurrency fraud

North Korea accused of cryptocurrency fraud

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Answer North Korea accused of cryptocurrency fraud

North Korea’s political system is using cryptocurrency scams and fake cryptocurrency offers to raise money for the government, new surveys of internet use in North Korea have revealed.

One example is a company called Marine Chain, which launched in 2018 under the claim that it is giving partial ownership to offshore vessels in exchange for cryptocurrency. It is unclear exactly how much revenue the company has generated, and six months later it was hidden on its website.

But cybersecurity researchers from Recorded Future, who on Thursday released the title of a report titled “Changing Patterns in Internet Use Reveal the Adaptive and Creative North Korean Ruling Elite,” discovered that the company’s CEO, a man named “Captain Jonathan Phung Kah-kyun” He was a Singaporean citizen allegedly working to help North Korea evade international sanctions for years.

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Fong has succeeded in giving the company a legitimate cover by appearing at investment conferences and promoting himself as the human face of the coin, analysts say. In March, for example, he appeared at a conference in Shanghai on “blockchain technology” and “digital supply chain transformation.”

Fong was listed as the CEO of Marineshine and likely used his tour to talk about investing in cryptocurrency to attract investors to the company. He also spoke at a forum on supply chain and logistics innovation in Hong Kong this month.

“It illustrates the overlap between physical support networks and virtual support networks,” Priscilla Moriuchi, director of strategic threat development at Recorded Future, told Newsweek. “Captain Fung is part of the North Korean network of supporters in Singapore. The broad consensus is that the support is financially driven. They are unscrupulous businessmen who want to engage a wide range of illegitimate partners.”

Fong’s current account on LinkedIn does not include any reference to the Marineshine project but claims to have over two decades of experience as a ship captain and more than 10 years of experience working for SingClass International providing rating services to “various ship owner departments.” . News articles from 2003 mention Phuong as the deputy director of the Mongolian Shipping Register. Fong did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Newsweek.

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Over the past several years, North Korea has been using a variety of tricks and cyber attacks to raise funds for the Kim regime.

In 2016, for example, North Korean hackers were accused of stealing at least $81 million from a bank in Bangladesh. The North Korean “Lazar Group” was blamed for the attack, and a “ransomware attack” called WannaCry infiltrated institutions across Europe. The system also mined cryptocurrency on some of the stolen computers. But experts say low-level cybercrime, including scripting for online poker games, is the most prevalent.

The Fong companies have been linked to tampering with the national flag records of three countries, which were typically used as fitting flags for North Korean ships,” according to a “Recorded Future” report. The report’s authors said MarineShine was a “mass scam conducted on behalf of North Korea.”

On the other hand, Crunchbase describes Marineshine’s business intelligence platform as a “next-generation global marine investment marketplace; The company allegedly has between 11 and 50 employees and has gone through one funding round. Today, however, only one employee, a Korean national, is shown on the company’s LinkedIn page.

The researchers also linked Marine Chain to a man named “Tony Walker” who claimed to be a “specialist in the shipping industry” and a man named “Heo Myung Choi” who claimed to be an investor in Korea. Both men have a limited online presence, and (memory coin) enthusiasts have expressed doubts about whether the men exist outside of the Marine Shine scam.

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“I’m not sure if anyone else has looked at the topic of Marine Shine. It seems to have been founded by someone named Tony Walker from Singapore but I can’t find it much online. “Does anyone know anything about his past projects?” According to a Reddit user asked:

“Tony Walker was not mentioned and his LinkedIn profile had no photo. I heard most of the Marine Shine team quit in January due to legal issues. It’s never a good sign you know that? According to another user’s answer to the previous question.

Experts note that scams are rarely prosecuted because it is difficult to distinguish a failed cryptocurrency exchange company from a fraudulent one.

“Between 50 to 60% of ICOs fail. So, investors know the risks and they invest,” Moriuchi told Newsweek. “They need to regulate cryptocurrency trading on a larger scale. Regulation is needed at some point because it is dangerous for ordinary people. But now it’s hard to tolerate these kinds of catalysts.”

In general, researchers have discovered that the North Korean regime and its backers are switching from using Western social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram to Chinese ones, with the exception of LinkedIn, which is still popular there.

Chain Marine’s LinkedIn page still exists and claims that the company’s address is at Wan Chai, Hong Kong.


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