North Korea prepares to hold crypto conference in October
Pyongyang is reportedly gearing up to host a blockchain conference, where it will show off North Korea‘s “cutting-edge crypto and blockchain technologies.”
Called “Korean International Blockchain Conference,” the inaugural blockchain conference is hosted by the Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea (DPRK) in the capital city of Pyongyang, starting Oct. 1, according to the Yonhap news outlet, quoting reports from U.S.-based Radio Free Asia.
The conference is expected to attract experts in the field from around the world. These experts, according to the report, will meet with “officials of North’s business entities” on Oct. 3.
North Korea has come out of the cold of late with the recent summit between Korean leaders and the one where Kim Jong Un met U.S. President Donald Trump, although relations have deteriorated slightly of late. There is also a rough time table for the conference which predicts meetings with top Korean government officials and businesses. However, there are also a number of warning signs where North Korea and cryptocurrencies are concerned – these are mainly to do with the issues of hacking and other scams that seem to be coming out of the country of late.
In an interview with RFA, a security expert claimed that North Korea appears to be trying to show off its capabilities when it comes to “cutting-edge crypto and blockchain technologies.”
The news of the Pyongyang event comes on the heels of reports accusing North Korea of acquiring cryptocurrencies via illegal means. Lazarus Group, a cybercrime syndicate linked to the loner communist country, was recently reported to have deployed a new ransomware targeting businesses.
Once the ransomware, called Hermes, infects the host system, an email is sent to the organization demanding immediate payment, and threatening an increase of 0.5 BTC in the ransom for every day the message goes unresponded.
In a recently published report, Check Point said the nascent attack has already secured as much as $640,000 from its victims, thought to the result of targeting companies and organizations with the budget to pay larger ransoms. Check Point, which first exposed the scam, said the attack was much more aggressive than previous generations of BTC ransomware.
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