According to a recent report by U.K-based media outlet Mirror, North Korea President Kim Jong-un has released a “new wave of global cyber crime” by allegedly instructing the notorious hacking group, Lazarus, to adopt phishing scams to steal Bitcoin and other digital currencies.
The North Korea leader is feared to have started a new wave of worldwide cyber crime, to help navigate the tough financial tides; brought about by coronavirus in the country. The hacking group, Lazarus, is believed to be behind the attack on Sony Pictures; after the release of the Hollywood movie The Interview.
Hackers steal $571 million from crypto exchanges
Between January 2017 and the end of 2018, Lazarus hackers and two other hacking groups stole digital currencies worth $571 million from five different crypto exchanges situated in Asia as per a report by the US government.
In addition, the report claims that the economy of North Korea has substantially dipped; due to the spread of COVID-19 and international sanctions. As a result, the popular hacking group has adopted a different spate of APT (advanced persistent threat) attacks. According to EST Security firm, situated in Seoul, Lazarus hackers sponsored by a certain government, have engaged in elevated cyber crimes in and out of North Korea.
North Korea President Kim Jong-un allegedly funded nuclear program using stolen crypto
Furthermore, North Korea has been previously accused of using stolen cryptocurrencies to sponsor its ballistic missiles project. EST Security additionally claimed that the Lazarus Groups are not only master-minding APT attacks in North Korea; but also in foreign countries such as the United States.
The security firm also confirmed that the hackers consistently sent out emails in the disguise of employment offerings; to spread the malware to different computers in order to steal crypto. As crypto-related scams escalate since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic; and the security company has also cautioned of a malicious document; being used as bait to target employees of major companies, organizations and institutions.