The North Korean government on Sunday called a recent U.N. report which alleges that the isolated Asian country uses cyberattacks to fund weapons of mass destruction programs "a fabrication."

"The United States and other hostile forces are now spreading ill-hated rumors," a statement from a spokesperson for the National Coordination Committee of the DPRK for Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism said. The statement was broadcast on state-run North Korean media outlet KCNA. 

"Such a fabrication by the hostile forces is nothing but a nasty game aimed at tarnishing our Republic and finding justification and sanctions against the DPRK," the statement continued. 

A confidential U.N. report last month said North Korea "used cyberspace to launch increasingly sophisticated attacks to steal funds from financial institutions and cryptocurrency exchanges to generate income."

The report claimed that the attacks were state-backed operations, backed by North Korea's top military agency and that the operations have amassed $2 billion. The attacks were carried out by "Democratic People's Republic of Korea cyber actors, many operating under the direction of the Reconnaissance General Bureau for the financing of its WMD (weapons of mass destruction) programs," the report continued.

U.N. experts have said that they are investigating 35 instances in 17 countries of North Korean cyberattacks used to illegally raise money for WMD programs. 

Top countries affected by the attacks include South Korea with 10 instances, India with three cases and Bangladesh and Chile with two each. Other countries affected include Tunisia, Costa Rica, Gambia, Kuwait and South Africa, among others. 

The attackers often simply just use the internet and a laptop computer to carry out the operations. 

According to the Council on Foreign Relations, North Korea developed computer science know-how and cyberattack capabilities in the 1980's and 1990's, thanks to help from the Chinese and the Soviet Union. North Korean attacks often direct their attacks through foreign web infrastructure, such as through Malaysia or China, in order to deny responsibility for the operations. 

One instance of a North Korean suspected cyberattack occurred in 2013, when major South Korean banks were hacked, with South Korean citizens unable to withdraw money. Two of the country's largest broadcasters were also paralyzed in the breach.

Another instance was in 2016, when $81 million was stolen from a Bangladeshi bank account held at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York through a cyberheist, with the money being fraudulently sent to the Philippines. The FBI believes North Korea was behind the theft.