The United States has accused three North Korean computer programmers of launching massive cyber attacks. Those attacks on banks in Asia, Mexico and Africa, among others, would have in any case stole more than $ 1.3 billion (more than 1 billion euros) in money and cryptocurrencies. A Hollywood film studio was the victim of an attack.
The three suspects were also involved in developing the WannaCry 2.0 ransomware program, according to the US Public Prosecution Service. The NHS, among others, was hit hard by this in 2017. With this program, computer systems were decommissioned and only launched after a sum was transferred.
In 2014, hackers attacked Sony Pictures. They wanted to avoid the movie the interview Issued. In that comedy, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is killed. Additionally, the hackers obtained a large number of passwords and email addresses from Sony customers, contracts with representatives and copies of passports. A month later, the US Federal Police’s FBI had ample evidence that it was an attack from North Korea.
And the American judiciary announced the names of the three. Jun Chang Hyuk (31), Kim Il (27) and Park Jin Hyuk (36) were working for North Korean Military Intelligence at the time of the attacks. The Americans assume that they are still in North Korea, but previously also worked from China and Russia.
The exact amount is unclear
The exact amount they stole is unknown because in some cases the theft was stopped or reversed on time. In at least one attack in 2016, $ 81 million (€ 67 million) could be looted. The Bangladesh National Bank was a victim of this.
According to US authorities, a US citizen of Canadian descent has pleaded guilty to laundering some of the proceeds of hackers.
In a confidential report from the United Nations, North Korea also stole more than $ 300 million (260 million euros) in cryptocurrencies in recent months. The committee that investigated the effectiveness of international sanctions against North Korea concluded that the funds would be earmarked for developing nuclear weapons. In total, it is estimated that the country has stolen an estimated $ 2 billion over the years.