North Korea's ruling elite has boosted their operational security procedures and migrated away from Western social media, according to a report from Recorded Future.
The analysis of data collected between December 2017 through to March 2018 found that the use of internet obfuscation services by the elite, or North Korea's “0.1 percent,” increased 1,200 percent since a July 2017 analysis, with significant upticks in the use of virtual private networks (VPNs), TOR, virtual private servers (VPS) and Transport Layer Security (TLS).
In July, the research revealed that North Koreans living in eight nations - India, Malaysia, New Zealand, Nepal, Kenya, Mozambique, Indonesia and China – were conducting “illicit revenue-generation activities,” typically to line the pockets of the Kim family. The latest report showed that “Malaysia and New Zealand no longer fit the behavioural heuristic” but that Thailand and Bangladesh qualified for the list.
“Interest in cryptocurrency had exploded,” by the time Recorded Future did its latest analysis, which found that the country “continued to mine Bitcoin, and in late January began to mine Monero as well.”