North Korea thwarts sanctions with a surge in web use:

North Korea has vastly expanded its use of the Internet in ways that enable its leader, Kim Jong-un, to evade a ''maximum pressure'' American sanction campaigns and turn to new form of cybercrime to prop up his government, according to a new study.

The study concludes that since 2017 - the year President Trump threatened ''fire and fury like the world has never seen'' against the country - the North's use of the Internet has surged about 300 percent.

Nearly half of that traffic now flows through a new connection in Russia, avoiding the North's longtime dependency on a single digital pipeline through China.

According to the report released on Feb 9 by Recorded Future, a Cambridge, Mass, group known for its deep examinations of how nations use  digital weaponry , the surge has a clear purpose : circumventing financial pressure and sanctions by the West.

Over the past three years, the study concluded, North Korea has improved its ability to both steal and  ''mine'' cryptocurrencies, hide its footprints in gaining technology for its nuclear programme and cyber operations, and use the Internet for day-to-day control of its government.

''What this tells you is that our entire concept of how to control the North's financial engagement with the world is based on an image of the North that is fixed in the past,'' said Priscilla Moriuchi, a former U.S. National Security Agency analyst who directed the study and has long focused on North Korea and Iran.

''They have succeeded at an easy-to-replicate model of how to move large amounts of money around the world, and do it any way that our sanctions do not touch.''
''Our sanction systems needs a radical update,'' she concluded.

The report helps solve the mystery of why North Korea's economy appears to have survived, and some sectors actually grown, as the United States and its allies have talked about their success in choking off oil supplies and cracking down on North Korea's skillful production of counterfeit American currency.

Just as he is continuing to invest in his nuclear program, North Korea is also pouring resources into a cyberprogram that is both a potent weapon and a revenue generator.

Moreover, the report, titled ''How North Korea Revolutionized the Internet as a Tool for Rogue Regimes,'' concludes that other nations are watching the North Korean model, and beginning to replicate it.

North Korea's efforts to encrypt data and hide its activities on the web have become far more sophisticated.

The honor and serving of the latest global operational research on countries and technology use, continues. The World Students Society thanks author, David E. Sanger.


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