The U.S. Department of Justice has unsealed an indictment charging three North Korean men with cyberattacks that led to the loss of $1.3 billion in cash and digital currencies. The DoJ identified the three suspects as part of a North Korean government’s elite group that globally targets financial institutions. According to the indictment, the DoJ alleged that the suspects—36-year-old Park Jin Hyok, 27-year-old Kim Il, and 31-year-old Jon Chang Hyok—conducted cyberattacks, stole the funds, and deployed malicious digital currency code.
The three men are reportedly are members of the Reconnaissance General Bureau.
In the indictment, the three men reportedly are members of the Reconnaissance General Bureau, a military agency of North Korea that allegedly attack global financial giants and steal billions of dollars. One of the most famous is the Lazarus Group. The indictment builds upon 2018 charges by the DoJ in which it claimed North Korea was behind the infamous Sony Entertainment hack. The attack was retaliation for a Sony movie, ‘The Interview,’ that depicted the DPRK leader’s fictional assassination. Aside from Sony, the three have also allegedly attacked banks in Vietnam, Mexico, Bangladesh, Taiwan, and Malta.
North Korea is using crypto to fund its nuclear programs.
As reported earlier, the United Nations has accused the North Korean state of stealing $281 million worth of crypto from an exchange during September 2020. The findings from a “confidential report” authored by independent sanctions monitors for U.N. Security Council members “strongly suggests” links between the hack’s perpetrators and the North Korean regime. The report stated, “preliminary analysis, based on the attack vectors and subsequent efforts to launder the illicit proceeds, strongly suggests links to North Korea.” The U.N. report accused the North Korean regime of using the stolen funds to support its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.