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North Korea linked to $100 million cybertheft


    In this Dec. 16, 2014 photo, North Koreans gather at the Mansu Hill where the statues of the late leaders Kim Il Sung, and Kim Jong Il tower over them, in Pyongyang, North Korea.

NEW YORK >> Cybersecurity researchers say North Korea might be connected to a recent attack that resulted in the theft of over $100 million from the Bangladeshi central bank and the attempted thefts of millions more from other Asian banks.

If the finding holds up, the attacks would amount to a new strategy for the rogue nation, whose state-sponsored efforts have been have long been motivated by politics, not money.

Security researchers at Symantec say that the malware used in February to steal $101 million from the Bangladeshi bank’s account in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York is similar to that used in the past by a group known as “Lazarus.”

That group has been linked to a string of hackings largely focused on U.S. and South Korean targets dating back to 2009. That includes the crippling 2014 hack of Sony Pictures, which the FBI has blamed on the North Korean government . North Korea denied the allegation.

According to the Symantec research, the malware’s rare code also showed up in the October 2015 hack of a bank in the Philippines and another of a Vietnamese bank about two months later, tying both to the breach of the Bangladesh bank.

Earlier this month, the global money-transfer coordinator Swift reported a new cyberattack against another unnamed bank. Swift said the attack was part of a coordinated campaign following the theft from the Bangladesh bank.

While Swift didn’t say if any money had been stolen, it did say that the attack allowed for the transfer of money and the tampering of bank documents.

It also emphasized that its own system, which connects more than 11,000 banking and securities organizations as well as other clients moving billions each year, had not been compromised by the malware.

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  • It would seem to me that, if someone can steal money from a bank through a cyberattack, the victimized bank should be also able to take the money back through cyber means. It also makes sense to me that this rogue regime should bear the result of an extreme cyber retaliation.

  • This is certainly news but nothing new as the articl states. North Korea has been spending a lot of resources on growing this aspect of their arm. Hopefully, our country has been growing the counter-hacker arm itself. And I’m sure we are. Eventually I foresee a counter-hack technology whereby the attacker gets its nefarious scheme returned to them much like the way bank robbers get an explosive packet in their ill-gotten goods. Our technology is moving so fast that it will be sooner than later.

  • And while this rogue regime threatens its neighbors and Hawaii with its nuclear arsenal, our President is working hard to disarm us and the rest of the civilized world.

  • all the government snooping, government control on how much money Americans can move in and out of their PRIVATE accounts, giant bloated bureaucracy of US Cyber Command, government jean-yuss-ess hiring “hackers”, and a third world country still manages to electronically break into banks and steal millions of dollars. Believe Sherif Buford T. Justice would put it best when talking about our overly corrupt and inept government, something along the lines of “….them sum ….. couldn’t close an umbrella…”

  • It would seem to me that if true, NK has committed an act of war. It may not have been US money but it was stolen from a US government bank nonetheless.
    NK can’t be allowed to get away with such actions, it’ll be but a matter of time before other rogue nations or extremists groups are emboldened to do the same thing.They know Obama is weak and won’t take strong action against them.

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