United States Indict Three North Korean Programmers For Hacking
Three North Korean computer programmers have been indicted by the United States Department of Justice for hacking. They aimed at stealing more than $1.3 billion in cash and bitcoin, from banks to Hollywood film studios.
The indictment charges Jon Chang Hyok, 31, Kim Il, 27, and Park Jin Hyok, 36 for stealing; while working for North Korea’s military intelligence services. The Department of Justice reported that the hackers were responsible for a wide variety of illegal activities and high-profile intrusions. They include a retaliatory assault on Sony Pictures in 2014 for creating “The Interview;” detailing the assassination of North Korean leader.
They were allegedly responsible for an attack on AMC Theatre workers. The accusation also credits them with breaking into servers belonging to Mammoth Screen; a UK production corporation working on a North Korean drama series.
The Justice Department claimed the trio engaged in the development of the disruptive WannaCry 2.0 ransomware in 2017. An action that struck Britain’s National Health Service hard.
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They also stand accused of breaking into banks across Southeast Asia, Mexico, and Africa by breaching the networks of financial institutions. Exploiting the SWIFT protocols to steal money. They deployed malicious applications to attack users of cryptocurrencies from March 2018 through September 2020.
The estimated amount of money taken by the hackers is not known since the robberies were either stopped or reversed in some circumstances. But the numbers are substantial. The hackers are suspected to have taken off with $81 million in one 2016 heist alone – at the Bangladesh Bank.
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