Three North Korean Hackers Indicted in US Federal Court
The United States Justice Department has lodged charges in federal court against three North Korean nationals in a massive nation-state cybercrime operation. The North Korean hackers are suspected of being part of the origination team for the legendary WannaCry ransomware as well as actors in an extensive array of cybercrimes including cryptocurrency scams and cyberattacks that impacted scores of organizations including Sony Pictures, Britain’s Nation Health Service (NHS), and banks on three continents.
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Officials allege that starting in 2014, the suspects worked as nation-state hackers and began their cybercrime operations as part of a North Korean response to the release of a Sony Pictures film disparaging that country’s leader. Those operations included:
- Creating and distributing several strains of malware including three variations of WannaCry ransomware its associated arts including WannaCrypt, Wana Decrypt0r 2.0, WanaCrypt0r 2.0 and Wanna Decryptor.
- WannaCry and its variants are estimated to have infected about 200,000 computers across 150 countries that used Windows XP and Windows 7.
- Organizations impacted by that malware include NHS, FedEx, Boeing, Honda, Nissan and hundreds more.
- WannaCry ransomware was also used in attacks against world governments including targets in India, Russia, Ukraine and Taiwan.
- The gang demanded payment in cryptocurrency and is estimated to have taken in $130,634.77 (51.62396539 XBT) in just its first round of attack in 2017.
- Officials allege that this group is behind repeated spear-phishing campaigns from 2016 through early 2020 that targeted employees of the US Defense Department, the State Department, and workers at U.S.-cleared defense contractors, energy firms, aerospace companies and tech firms.
- The suspects have also been charged in other schemes including electronic bank heists, money laundering, cryptocurrency scams and more hacking-related offenses.
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*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Blog – ID Agent authored by Matt Solomon. Read the original post at: https://www.idagent.com/north-korean-hackers-charged-in-wannacry-ransomware-1-3-billion-cybercrime-spree