The US accuses North Korean hackers of stealing and blackmailing more than $ 1.3 billion from Science & Tech News
The United States has accused three North Korean men of stealing and extorting more than $ 1.3 billion (£ 940 million) from financial institutions and cryptocurrency exchanges around the world.
“North Korea’s activists who use keyboards instead of guns and steal digital wallets with cryptocurrency instead of moneybags are the world’s leading nation-state robbers of the 21st century,” said John Demers, assistant attorney general.
“Put simply, the regime has turned into a flagged criminal syndicate that is using its state funds to steal hundreds of millions of dollars,” he went on, revealing the previously sealed federal charges.
Into The Gray Zone: How Cyber Is Used To Attack
The fees follow a confidential UN report among the members of the Security Council believed to have alleged that North Korea maintained and developed its nuclear and ballistic missile programs through means secured by cyber raids.
The three men: Jon Chang Hyok, 31; Kim Il, 27; and Park Jin Hyok, 36, are charged with working for North Korea’s military intelligence services, particularly the Reconnaissance General Bureau (RGB).
Park had previously calculated in 2018 for his involvement in hacking on behalf of the North Korean state, but the names of the other two men are published for the first time.
The charges against her contain detailed allegations of her involvement in cyber-robberies, including the attack on Sony Pictures in retaliation for the film The Interview, which depicts the fictional assassination of country leader Kim Jong Un.
The men are also accused of developing the WannaCry ransomware, which hit the NHS in 2017, as well as creating fake cryptocurrency applications with backdoors that they could use to steal users’ money.
Pyongyang has denied involvement in all of these incidents.
“The level of criminal behavior by North Korean hackers has been extensive and protracted, and the range of crimes they have committed is staggering,” said acting US attorney Tracy Wilkison.
“The behavior described in the indictment is the act of a criminal nation-state that has stopped at nothing to seek vengeance and get money to support its regime.”
“This case is a particularly striking example of the growing alliance between officials of some national governments and sophisticated cyber criminals,” added US intelligence deputy director Michael D’Ambrosio.
“The individuals charged today have committed a truly unprecedented range of financial and cyber crimes, from ransomware attacks and phishing campaigns to digital bank robberies and sophisticated money laundering measures.
“With victims around the world, this case again shows that the cybercrime challenge is and will remain a fight that can only be won through partnership, perseverance and a relentless focus on bringing criminals to justice.”
In addition to the three North Koreans, a Canadian, Ghaleb Alaumary, was accused of having worked for them “among other things as a money launderer,” which amounted to millions of dollars.
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