US officials charge North Korean over major hacks like WannaCry and Sony
We have unsealed criminal charges against a North Korean computer programmer for participating in a conspiracy that conducted sophisticated cyber attacks around the world on behalf of the North Korean government.
Members of the conspirary are responsible for some of the most damaging and most well know cyber intrusions in history.
Including the cyber attack targeting Sony Pictures.
The cyber heist of Bangladesh Bank.
And creating the Wannacry ransomware.
The criminal complaint unsealed today specifically charges Park Jin Hyuk.
But the complaint also alleges a wide-ranging conspiracy, and describes in minute detail how we were able to link the North Korean government to these crimes.
The criminal case that we are announcing today contains allegations of multiple cyber attacks, but I wanna focus on three.
Attacks on the entertainment industry, attacks on the international banking institutions, and the ransomware known as WannaCry.
There were multiple attacks on the entertainment industry.
The complaint alleges that members of the North Korean conspiracy were responsible for the well-knonw intrusion that decimated Sony Pictures computer infrastructure, a crime that targeted a company right here in Los Angeles.
Additionally, members of the conspiracy used spear fishing tactics, similar to those used against Sony, to target AMC theaters, and a British production company.
Sony Pictures was targeted because it was producing a fictional comedic movie.
About the North Korean leader.
AMC Theaters was targetted because it has theaters that were scheduled to screen some of these movies and the British production company was targeted because it was developing another fictional production about North Korea These were not just attacks against computers, these were attacks against freedom of speech.
The second group of cyber attacks attributed to the conspiracy targeted banks around the world.
Starting in 2015 and continuing into this year, Members of the conspiracy attempted to steal more than $1 billion.
One of the computer intrusions resulted in the theft of approximately $81 million US from the Bank of Bangladesh, which was held in the Federal Reserve Bank in New York.
North Korean government actors stole funds from another government.
These thefts typically involved infiltrating a bank's computer network and then circumventing a computer's internal network security to send messages through the SWIFT system.
That's a secure network which is used to send messages through banks.
The attacks on the banks occurred all over the world.
But the theives left a trail of clues.
Cyber breadcrumbs that allowed investigators to link them together.
For example the malware use in the various attacks shared encryption keys and links to web domains that were under the control of the North Korean conspirators.
And the malware shared certain aspects with the computer programs use to attack Sony Pictures.
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