Prosecutors unsealed an indictment on Wednesday charging three North Korean computer programmers with a criminal conspiracy tied to some of the nation’s most prominent alleged hacking campaigns, including the 2014 Sony attack, the 2016 Bangladesh bank heist and the 2017 WannaCry outbreak.
In all, the conspiracy was meant to steal and extort more than $1.3 billion from financial institutions and companies, the U.S. Department of Justice said.
In a second unsealed case, a Canadian-American citizen pleaded guilty to serving as a money launderer for numerous schemes, including a cyber bank heist that North Korean hackers orchestrated.
“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,” said Assistant Attorney General John Demers of the Justice Department’s National Security Division.
The indictment of the three North Korean men — Jon Chang Hyok, Kim Il and Park Jin Hyok — accuses them of working on behalf of North Korea’s Reconnaissance General Bureau, a military intelligence agency.
Canadian-American Ghaleb Alaumary pleaded guilty to aiding North Korean hackers’ cyber-assisted financial crimes.
This is a developing news story that will be updated as more information becomes available.
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