The US Justice Department has arrested three computer programmers working for North Korea and using cyber-attacks to raise money for Kim Kim Jong-Un. According to the court documents, Park Jin-hyok and Kim Il, are members of the Reconnaissance General Bureau, North Korean military intelligence.
The indictment further alleges that the individuals were responsible for various cyber-attacks beginning in 2014 with Sony Entertainment’s hack and from several Asian banks. The US Justice Department stated that the hackers stole more than $1.3 billion in cryptocurrencies and cash.
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Tracy Wilkison, the acting Attorney General of the US, said, “The scope of the criminal conduct by the North Korean hackers was extensive and long-running, and the range of crimes they have committed is staggering.” The Justice Department added that North Korean hackers are known in the cybersecurity circles as “Lazarus Group”.
According to the federal agency, the Pyongyang-backed hackers attacked Sony Picture Entertainment over a comedic movie that had depicted the assignation of Kim. They attempted to steal the money from numerous Asian countries, including Bangladesh, Taiwan, Malta, and other African nations by using fake interbank messages.
Some other accused schemes included a whopping $6.1 million heist in Pakistan and ransomware from Britain’s National Health Service. Besides that, they stole $12 million in cryptocurrency from a New York firm, $25 million from an Indonesian company, and $75 million from a Slovenian firm. The US officials further maintained that these hackers often worked from other locations, including China and Russia.
The department further alleged the several campaigns targeted US government employees, defense contractors, the US Department of State, and the Department of Defense. Park had been previously charged for the Sony hack case and a cyber-heist in Bangladesh.
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