US DOJ Charges 3 North Korean For Cybercrimes That Caused Over $1.3 Billion In Damages

Friday 19 February 2021, 7:00 AM AEST - 1 week ago

The US Department of Justice is charging 3 hackers – presumed to be associated with the infamous Lazarus Group that took on Sony back in 2014 – with theft and extortion of cryptocurrency between 2017 and 2020.

Possible Funding Of Nukes Via Crypto Theft

It’s been less than a week since the UN made allegations that North Korea may be funding its nuclear program using cryptocurrency stolen by its army of hackers.

To go along with the charging of the 3 individuals, the FBI, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the Department of Treasury published a joint statement about a piece of malware known as AppleJesus. This malicious app poses as a legitimate cryptocurrency exchange, fooling users into downloading it and transferring their crypto to unknown sources – presumed to be run by North Korea.

“This report catalogues AppleJeus malware in detail. North Korea has used AppleJeus malware posing as cryptocurrency trading platforms since at least 2018. In most instances, the malicious application – seen on both Windows and Mac operating systems – appears to be from a legitimate cryptocurrency trading company, thus fooling individuals into downloading it as a third-party application from a website that seems legitimate.”

This attack appears to have targeted users and companies in Australia, the U.S., Canada, Brazil, Argentina, New Zealand, India, China, Russia, Israel, Saudi Arabia, South Korea – among other countries.

Due to international sanctions, North Korea has turned to more unorthodox methods in order to turn a profit. In the past, these activities have run the gamut from farming in-game currencies on World of Warcraft to more typical methods.

In a press statement, Assistant Attorney General John Demers stated that North Korean hackers have been causing quite a lot of damage to banks – except this time, keyboards were used, instead of guns.

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