Wednesday, 13 November, 2019

UN investigating slew of North Korean cyberattacks on financial bodies

North Korea UN investigating slew of North Korean cyberattacks on financial bodies
Patty Aguilar | 13 August, 2019, 21:15

Lastly, crypto exchanges and users were targeted in different instances.

The UN says that South Korea bore the brunt of the efforts, having suffered 10 attacks. India witnessed three attacks, Bangladesh and Chile both experienced two each.

Thirteen countries suffered one attack - Costa Rica, Gambia, Guatemala, Kuwait, Liberia, Malaysia, Malta, Nigeria, Poland, Slovenia, South Africa, Tunisia and Vietnam, it said.

Some attacks were conducted via the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) system.

As well as "quasi-legitimate" mining operations, the report investigated 'crypto-jacking', whereby North Korean hackers infect computers with malware. South Korea has been one of the country's main targets in such campaigns and this report only further confirms the fact.

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MyBroadband also previously reported that the WannaCry ransomware attack which hit several South African companies, including Telkom, was linked to North Korean attackers. One would assume it's likely the attacks will continue to happen unless authorities intervene. South Korean crypto exchange Bithumb has allegedly been hacked at least four times by their northern neighbors. It said the first two attacks in February 2017 and July 2017 each resulted in losses of approximately $7 million, while a June 2018 attack led to a $31 million loss and a March 2019 attack to a $20 million loss. According to the SCMP there have been at least 35 incursions in 17 countries. Estimates suggest the country has amassed some $2 billion through these nefarious tactics.

The report which was released on August 6, was researched by "independent experts" and submitted to the U.N. Security Council North Korea sanctions committee pointing out the fact that the country made use of "widespread and increasingly sophisticated" hacks to gather $2 billion.

An instance was cited in the report where over 5,000 separate transactions were sent to different destinations before eventual conversion, making it hard to track these funds.

It added that one report analyzed a piece of malware created to mine Monero and send the digital loot to servers located at Kim Il-sung University in Pyongyang.

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