The Korea Internet & Security Agency (KISA) has claimed that cybercriminals based in North Korea have intensified their malware attacks against digital currency users and service providers in South Korea. The agency further said that the hackers have also targeted digital currency companies in the country.

Based on its latest report as of mid-November 2017, KISA has monitored a 370 percent increase in malware attacks in 2017 as compared from the figures in 2016. These attacks show that the hackers have been consistent in their efforts to disrupt the day-to-day operations of companies, steal money and further taint the image of digital currencies.

Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin have been claimed as the perfect tool for cybercrimes in the past.

Other highlights of the KISA report

Based on the KISA report, 5,366 ransomware attacks were recorded in South Korea from January to September 2017. The ongoing tussle between North and South Korea is considered as one of the main reasons behind the intensifying malware attacks on South Korean establishments.

This is particularly true in the months of July and August, in which malicious software was uncovered in multiple in-house desktop systems of many South Korean Bitcoin exchanges.

According to the agency, it expects that the attacks on Bitcoin service providers and other online services in South Korea will continue to intensify in the near future unless a strategic action is launched to thwart the attacks moving forward. This view by the agency is predicated on the reputation of North Korean hackers, who have launched vicious attacks against South Korean infrastructure in the past few years.

The continuous presence of state-sponsored hacker groups in North Korea is also expected to worsen the situation. Because of these developments, South Korean citizens and companies should take this threat more seriously and collaborate with the government in preventing it.