US Announces Charges Against North Korean Hackers: $ 1.3 Billion Stolen in Cryptocurrencies and Other Attacks
The United States Department of Justice has officially brought charges against a group of hackers of North Korean origin. The prosecution has been carried out by a number of hacks and identity theft campaigns to government organizations, technology, aerospace and energy companies. Some of those involved were already involved in the hackeo a Sony Pictures 2014.
According to the US authorities, the hacker group had a money laundering scheme and the option to obtain investments through which North Korea evaded sanctions Americans. Currently both the United States and other Western countries have imposed sanctions and trade blocks on North Korea for their local policies.
Fake apps and fictitious ICOs
The accusation refers mainly to different cryptocurrency hacks that allowed them to steal millions of dollars of financial institutions and companies around the world. Central banks in some countries are mentioned as cryptocurrency companies. They are also accused of various phishing that were carried out from March 2016 to February 2020.
To carry out some of the attacks, hackers created cryptocurrencies with malware. Even fraudulent blockchain applications and platforms that allowed them to access the money of their victims. If the defendants are convicted, they will face 35 years in prison.
In addition to hacks by cryptocurrency platforms, special mention is made of a kind of ICO that they carried out in 2018. Under the name of ‘Marine Chain Token’, the project offered victims a stake in shipping vessels. The project however served hackers to finance themselves and bypassing the sanctions imposed by Western countries on North Korea.
All defendants work for the North Korean military agency, according to the accusations from the United States. It is not the first time that hacker groups with possible origins from North Korea have been implicated in large hacks. In fact, one of the defendants is Park Jin Hyok, who was previously believed to have been involved in the attack on Sony Pictures 2014 and the most recent WannaCry in 2017.