U.S. sanctions North Korean hacker organizations it says wreak destruction and steal hundreds of millions of dollars
The US government approved sanctions against three hacker groups, and they allegedly conducted several high-profile cyber attacks in accordance with the orders of the North Korean government. Attacks by these groups are alleged to include WannaCry ransomware attacks and invasions of Sony Pictures Entertainment, as well as tens of millions of dollars in theft by the Bangladesh Central Bank and similar attacks on other banks around the world.
The organizations are known as Lazarus Group, Bluenoroff and Andariel are now officially seen by the US Treasury as support from the North Korean government, which is responsible for implementing economic sanctions. These three organizations have been added to the US Treasury Department list of specially designated nationals, which block any assets they may have in the United States and prohibit Americans from doing business with them.
“By leveraging malware similar to that seen in the SPE cyberattack, Bluenoroff and Lazarus Group made over 36 large fund transfer requests using stolen SWIFT credentials in an attempt to steal a total of $851 million before a typographical error alerted personnel to prevent the additional funds from being stolen,” Treasury said.
Sanctions are the latest measures taken by the US government to stop North Korean hackers. The US Department of Justice also accused a North Korean computer programmer of committing crimes related to WannaCry, Sony intrusion, and bank theft.