North Korean hacker responsible for Bangladesh Bank heist

North Korean hacker responsible for Bangladesh Bank heist

North Korean hacker responsible for Bangladesh Bank heist

North Korea has been linked to some of the most high-profile cyberattacks in recent years, and its hack on Sony Pictures Entertainment lead the Obama administration to impose economic sanctionsagainst the country's government agencies and senior officials.

The DOJ charged Park Jin Hyok as the mastermind behind the 2014 cyber attack that exposed tons of the studio's internal emails.

The indictment, initially reported by ABC News and the Washington Post, is the first direct set of charges against an individual associated with the North Korean government. Asked if any of Park's attacks were launched from China by North Korea, a Justice Department official said, "there's nothing in the complaint alleged on that".

"We will not allow North Korea to undermine global cybersecurity to advance its interests and generate illicit revenues in violation of our sanctions", Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.

Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Demers described the probe as one of the lengthiest and thorough cyber investigations in the division's history.

The charges, part of a strategy by the U.S. government to deter future cyberattacks by naming and shaming the alleged perpetrators, will also allege that the North Korean hacker broke into the central bank of Bangladesh in 2016, according to the official. The depiction caused officials to complain to the United Nations and resulted in the state media of the isolated nation warning of "merciless retaliation".

North Korea has always been suspected - and accused - of having carried out the Sony hack and being behind the WannaCry ransomware but today those accusations were made formal. "Not only did the North Koreans burn down the Sony network, inflicting millions of dollars in damage, the attack was then followed by a campaign to instill fear among the American public".

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They named one of the group - called the Lazarus Group by security companies fighting to combat its actions - and put his name, Park Jin Hyok, and face on an FBI Wanted poster, adding that he is now considered a fugitive from justice.

North Korea routinely denies being involved in hack attacks attributed to them.

The criminal complaint, filed in Los Angeles, alleges that the hackers committed several attacks from 2014 until 2018.

The DOJ has charged hackers in China, Iran and Russian Federation aiming to dissuade foreign powers from accommodating those who would attack US corporations.

The Treasury Department announced sanctions on North Korea for "multiple" cyber attacks in the same day, specifically mentioning Park in its announcement of the sanctions.

"The criminal conduct outlined in this case is intolerable", said Tracy Wilkison, the first assistant USA attorney in Los Angeles.

The charges were brought against Park as the Trump administration seeks to improve relations with North Korea.

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