As pressure from widening international sanctions and economic isolation mounts, North Korea seems to be searching for revenue in darker realms that are beyond the law to ease some of the financial burdens. The country’s army of infamous hackers is undeniably persistent in its pursuit of raising cash for the cash-strapped hermit nation. The controversial government of King Jong Un has secretly developed a cyber-program that is stealing millions and proving capable of unleashing global financial crisis.
According to a report by the South China Morning Post (SCMP), hackers have changed their tactics. They are now targeting individual investors rather than cryptocurrency exchanges. To do this, they send an unsuspecting cryptocurrency holder an email address with an attachment infected with a virus. Once the person receives the email and downloads the attachment, the virus takes control of the entire system. They target thousands of individuals in the hope that a small percentage becomes victims.
According to Simon Choi, the founder of the cyber warfare research group IssueMakersLab, the hackers have changed their modus operandi thanks to the upgraded security measures that major cryptocurrency trading platforms have implemented recently.
The CEO of Cuvepia also said that his company had unearthed at least 30 instances where North Korea-based bad actors had attempted to steal money from individual investors.
In recent years, the embattled Asian country has launched deadly hacks against dozens of financial institutions and cryptocurrency exchanges in more than 25 countries. The hackers have been linked to the 2016 heist on Bangladesh’s central bank, in which they siphoned of an eye-watering $81 million.
The country’s hackers also broke into Sony Pictures Entertainment’s system in 2014 in retaliation for the company’s production of a comic movie that mocked Kim Jong. The attack crippled the company’s operations. They also publicly exposed Sony’s files including emails, salary lists, contracts and copies of movies.