UN report: North Korea cyber experts raised up to $2 billion

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — A panel monitoring U.N. sanctions says North Korean cyber experts have illegally raised money for the country's weapons of mass destruction programs "with total proceeds to date estimated at up to $2 billion."

The experts said in a new report to the Security Council that North Korea is using cyberspace "to launch increasingly sophisticated attacks to steal funds from financial institutions and cryptocurrency exchanges to generate income."

Cryptocurrency exchanges deal in virtual money like bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple.

According to the report's summary, seen Monday by The Associated Press, North Korea is using cyber means "to illegally force the transfer of funds from financial institutions and cryptocurrency exchanges, launder stolen proceeds, and generate income in evasion of financial sanctions."

The experts said North Korea is also continuing illicit ship-to-ship transfers.