S.Korean crypto CEO admits to selling military secrets to N.Korea for Bitcoin

S.Korean crypto CEO and soldier sold military secrets to N.Korea for Bitcoin

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The Seoul Central District Prosecutor’s Office has indicted a local cryptocurrency investment firm executive and a military officer on active duty for violating the National Security Act by leaking military secrets to a North Korean hacker in exchange for Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, according to the prosecutor’s investigation report shared with Forkast.

See related article: US charges two Europeans with helping N.Korea evade sanctions with crypto

Fast facts

  • The military officer photographed and leaked military secrets through a burner phone due to the poor image quality on the hidden wristwatch camera purchased by the unnamed crypto executive, local media reported on Thursday.
  • The executive received US$600,000 worth of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies from a North Korean hacker, whom the crypto investor met on Telegram six years ago, according to local media reports.
  • The military officer was introduced to the hacker in 2020 and received around 48 million KRW (US$37,780) in Bitcoin.
  • In January, the crypto executive was instructed by the hacker to purchase a hacking device using crypto received from North Korea, while the military officer shared log-in keys in a failed attempt to grant the hacker remote access to the Korean Joint Command and Control System, the South Korean military’s internal communications network. 
  • The two have admitted the allegations, but the North Korean hacker remains unidentified.
  • This is the first known case of a South Korean military officer assisting in North Korean hack attempts through a social network. 

See related article: North Korea behind Ronin hack: US

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