US authorities are sounding the alarm over North Korea’s cyber activities, warning that the rogue state poses a „significant threat” to the integrity and stability of the international financial system.
In a joint alert warning, the FBI, along with the Departments of State, Homeland Security, and Treasury, accuse North Korea of using cybercrime to fund its weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programmes.
„The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) malicious cyber activities threaten the United States and the broader international community and, in particular, pose a significant threat to the integrity and stability of the international financial system (…) In particular, the United States is deeply concerned about North Korea’s malicious cyber activities, which the U.S. government refers to as HIDDEN COBRA. The DPRK has the capability to conduct disruptive or destructive cyber activities affecting U.S. critical infrastructure. The DPRK also uses cyber capabilities to steal from financial institutions, and has demonstrated a pattern of disruptive and harmful cyber activity that is wholly inconsistent with the growing international consensus on what constitutes responsible State behavior in cyberspace.”, according to the alert issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
A UN report last year estimated that the country has generated an estimated $2 billion in revenues for its weapons programme through the state-sponsored looting of financial institutions and cryptocurrency exchanges.
The new US alert lists a host of acts believed to have been carried out by the North Koreans, including the 2016 Bangladesh Bank heist, the WannaCry ransomware campaign, the FASTCash ATM cashout scam, and a $250 million digital currency exchange hack.
To help tackle the threat, the US is calling for raised awareness about North Korea’s actions, the sharing between countries of technical information of the threat, and the strengthening of AML and terrorism financing rules compliance.
Meanwhile, the State department is offering a reward to anyone with information about illicit North Korea activities in cyberspace.
„If you have information about illicit DPRK activities in cyberspace, including past or ongoing operations, providing such information through the Department of State’s Rewards for Justice program could make you eligible to receive an award of up to $5 million.”
„It is vital for the international community, network defenders, and the public to stay vigilant and to work together to mitigate the cyber threat posed by North Korea,” says the alert.
„Tendinţele pe care le-am remarcat înainte de începerea pandemiei s-au accelerat pe perioada stării de urgenţă. Am văzut acest lucru ca o oportunitate, un tipping point pentru bancă. Post-pandemie nu avem cum sa ne întoarcem la comportamentul financiar pe care îl aveam până în februarie a.c. Relaţia românilor cu online-ul s-a schimbat. In plus, cardul fizic se va dematerializa. Vom asista la o scădere a cererii pentru cardurile fizice, respectiv la o creştere a preferinţei pentru componenta digitală a acestora.”