Friday, 16 November, 2018

Federal Bureau of Investigation charges North Korean Park Jin Hyok over WannaCry, Sony cyberattacks

President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un pose at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore in this DOJ to announce charges against North Koreans for Sony hack, Wannacry attack
Gerardo Duncan | 07 September, 2018, 11:44

A haul of sensitive information on Sony employees was released in what the United States believed was pay-back for The Interview, a Seth Rogen satire about a plot to assassinate Mr Kim.

The pair apologized. Pascal left her job months later.

Park Jin Hyok is said to be linked to the Lazarus Group. Prosecutors said the complaint was sealed for a variety of reasons and wasn't done to prevent derailing the Singapore talks.

A North Korean man has been identified as part of a group that hacked the NHS, as well as allegedly being responsible for hacks on Sony Pictures and the theft of $81m (£62m) from a bank.

The group is also deemed to be behind denial-of-service attacks against the government, banks, and media companies in South Korea.

A North Korea-registered website bearing that company's name described Chosun Expo as the country's "first internet company", saying it was established in 2002 and employed 20 young graduates from institutions including Kim Il Sung University, Kimcheon Industrial University and Pyongyang Art University.

"OFAC (Office of Foreign Assets Control) designated the North Korean computer programmer Park Jin Hyok for having engaged in significant activities undermining cyber security through the use of computer networks or systems against targets outside of North Korea on behalf to the Government of North Korea or the Workers' Party of Korea", an official statement by the US Treasury Department said.

A 2015 version of the Chosun Expo website said it focused on gaming, gambling, e-payments and image recognition software.

In unrelated cases, the US has previously charged hackers from Iran as well as hackers in the Chinese military.

Although the USA previously blamed North Korea for the both the WannaCry and Sony Picture cyber attacks, this is the first time federal investigators have publicly named a suspect in the crimes. It also accused him of taking part in an attack on Bangladesh's central bank in 2016.

In 2014, for instance, the Obama administration charged five Chinese military hackers with a series of digital break-ins at American companies, and previous year, the Justice Department charged Russian hackers with an intrusion at Yahoo Inc.

The Justice Department charged Park with one count of conspiracy to commit computer fraud, and another count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Last December the North Korean government called allegations that it was behind the ransomware "absurd" and a "grave political provocation".

Hours before the anticipated announcement Thursday, Mr. Trump thanked Kim Jong Un for offering glowing words about Mr. Trump.

Trump met with leader Kim Jong Un earlier this year and has sought to secure a full commitment from the country to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula.

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