February 21, 2024

N.Korea and hacking the financial world

Regime has long had entry into the world-wide electronic financial transaction system

It is difficult to write about a suspicion, even if that suspicion is based upon years of experience, for undocumented suspicions are not much better than rumors. Nonetheless, this essay could have been written many years ago, when this writer first learned that North Korea had been admitted, in November 2001, to the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT).

Some of the thinking at the time was that having North Korea in SWIFT would force a certain level of transparency – or at least traceability – regarding Pyongyang’s financial transactions. Less trusting souls wondered what evil was about to be facilitated by having North Korea as a member of an organization that is so critical to the commercial world.