North Korea is bypassing U.S. sanctions by hacking global financial systems to raise funds for malicious activities.
Over a long time, most of the world has not enjoyed the best of relations with North Korea. And things do not get better even now. On Wednesday, U.S. government officials reportedly warned that North Korean hackers are targeting financial institutions.
Highlights! US Places A Bounty On Kim’s Pandemic-Exploiting North Korean Hackers
- North Korean Hacking a Regular Occurrence.
- U.S. Warns Global Financial Systems Under Threat Due to North Korean Hacking.
- U.S. Government Offers $5 Million to Highlight Intensity of Threat to Global Financial Systems.
North Korea has used hackers in the past
This is not the first time North Korea has used hackers to bypass the sanctions laid by the U.S and it certainly does not seem to be the last. Previously, in 2019, the U.S. Treasury had imposed sanctions on three of North Korea’s hacking groups – Lazarus, Andariel, and Bluenoroff.
Moreover, in March 2020, two Chinese nationals were also charged by the U.S. Department of Justice for laundering funds from two Lazarus hacks. U.S. officials suggest that North Korea is using hackers to increase funding for their weapons of mass destruction.
North Korean Hacking Threatens Global Financial Systems
The U.S. State Department, the Treasury Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Department of Homeland Security issued a joint statement on North Korea’s hacking.
The statement highlighted that North Korea is using hackers to take advantage of the pandemic to fund their “malicious cyber activities.”
Moreover, their joint statement also highlighted observed tactics used by the North Korean regime. As per the statement, hackers have carried out thefts from banks, financial entities, and cryptocurrency exchanges to name a few.
Moreover, they have also carried out extortions by compromising an entity’s network. They threaten victims to pay a ransom or else they will shut down the company. Such cybercrimes are the reason why the U.S. has warned countries that global financial systems are under a serious threat.
$5 Million Reward for Information on North Korean Hackers
If that does not threaten world governments, maybe this will. The US Government has offered $5 million bounty to anyone who can identify North Korean hackers.
Considering that the government is willing to provide such a huge amount, the threat that these hackers pose to global financial systems is evident.
As the US continues to increase surveillance of North Korean hacking activities, the rest of the world should also increase the protection of their financial systems.
Activities involving cybercrimes are certainly not going to help North Korea’s image as they are likely to get more isolated in global politics.