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North Korean cyberheists fan fears amid bitcoin frenzy

US points to Pyongyang as culprit behind WannaCry attacks

© Nikkei photo illustration/Source photo of Kim Jong Un by Reuters

TOKYO/SEOUL -- Cyberattacks are emerging as another major threat from North Korea, alongside nuclear weapons, and the world's most popular cryptocurrency is in the crosshairs. 

Youbit, a South Korean bitcoin exchange, on Tuesday said it has stopped trading the virtual money and will file for bankruptcy after losing 17% of its total assets to hackers.This is not the first time the exchange has been targeted. Its predecessor, Yapizon, was hacked in April and lost 3,831 bitcoins. Subsequent efforts to beef up security were evidently in vain.

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