Infamous North Korean Hacker Group Accused Of $1.3B Crypto Robbery
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The North Korean Lazarus Group, aka Hidden Cobra, has been charged by the US court for an attempted $1.3B crypto heist. The charges have been brought up against 3 members of the group - Jon Chang Hyo (31), Kim Il (27), and Park Jin Hyok (36).
These members are computer programmers and have allegedly worked alongside government officials on their operations.
What Is The Lazarus Group?
Lazarus Group or APT 38, or Hidden Cobra is a threat actor group from North Korea. The group has been active since at least 2009 and was reportedly responsible for the November 2014 destructive wiper attack against Sony Pictures Entertainment as part of a campaign named Operation Blockbuster. They have also conducted campaigns like Operation Flame, Operation 1Mission, Operation Troy, DarkSeoul, and Ten Days of Rain.
Details Of The Current Indictment
The current indictment includes:
- Their attacks on Sony Pictures.
- The creation of WannaCry Ransomware.
- Various other schemes to steal money and crypto from banks and businesses while operating in China and North Korea.
FBI Deputy Director Paul Abbate said:
“Today’s unsealed indictment expands upon the FBI’s 2018 charges for the unprecedented cyberattacks conducted by the North Korean regime.”
As per charges, the three programmers named have created and managed multiple malicious cryptocurrency applications to develop fraudulent blockchain platforms. Assistant Attorney General John C. Demers of the Justice Department’s National Security Division said:
“As laid out in today’s indictment, North Korea’s operatives, using keyboards rather than guns, stealing digital wallets of cryptocurrency instead of sacks of cash, are the world’s leading bank robbers.”
The three hackers - Jon, Kim, and Park - were charged with one count of conspiracy to commit computer fraud and abuse. They face a sentence of up to five years in prison and one count of conspiracy to commit wire and bank fraud, with a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.