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US imposes sanctions on North Korean hacking groups, the balance of the global attack

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. treasury on Friday announced sanctions on three North Korean hacking group said: “the ones who were involved in the WannaCry” ransomware attacks, and the hacking of banks, and bills.

FILE PHOTO: A North Korean flag flies on a mast at the Permanent Mission of North Korea in Geneva October 2, 2014. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/Files Photo

It is called with the groups as well as Lazarus, a Group Bluenoroff, and Andariel, and said that they were being controlled by the RGB, North Korea’s primary intelligence agency, which is already subject to U.S. and United Nations sanctions.

The action is to block all US-based assets of all the groups, and prohibits dealings with them. The Treasury statement said, as a foreign financial institution that knowingly facilitates significant transactions or services provided to them and may also be subject to penalties.

“The Treasury is taking action against the North Korean hacking groups who have been perpetrating cyber-attacks in support of illegal weapon and missile programmes,” said Sigal Mandelker, the Treasury under secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.

“We’re going to continue to enforce the existing U.S. and U. N. sanctions on North Korea and the international community to improve the cyber security of financial networks.”

The United States is trying to restart talks with North Korea aimed at pressing the country to give up nuclear weapons. The talks have been stalled over North korea’s demands for concessions, including sanctions relief.

Earlier this month, North Korea has rejected U. N. allegations it had been obtained up to $2 billion by means of cyber-attacks on banks, and a cryptocurrency exchange, and accused the United States of america by the dissemination of rumors to the contrary.

The Treasury statement said, Lazarus, the Group has been involved in the WannaCry of ransomware attacks in the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, is publicly attributed to North Korea in December 2017.

It is said WannaCry taken in at least 150 countries, and the shutting down of some 300,000 computers, many of which are in the british National Health Service (NHS). In the NHS, the attack led to the cancellation of more than 19,000 events, and, ultimately, the cost of the service by more than $112 million, the largest of the known message attack in the past.

The Treasury said the fpc / Lazarus was also responsible for 2014’s cyber-attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment.

The statement quoted in the industry and press reporting, as it is to say that by the end of 2018, Bluenoroff had tried to steal more than $1.1 billion from other financial institutions, and successfully carried out operations in banks in three countries (Bangladesh, India, Mexico, Pakistan, the Philippines, south africa, South Korea, Taiwan, poland, Turkey, Chile, and Vietnam, among others.

It is said Bluenoroff to work with the Lazarus Group, out of approximately $80 million to the Central Bank of Bangladesh, in New York’s Federal Reserve system account.

Andariel, in the meanwhile, observed by cyber security firms are trying to steal your bank card information, due to the hacking of automated teller machines to withdraw money, or steal information about customers, in order to later sell it on the black market, ” the statement said.

Andariel was also responsible for the design and creation of unique, malware, hacking, online poker and casino sites, and, according to the industry and the press, the report, which focuses on the South Korean government, the military, in an effort to gather intelligence, it said.

Reporting by David Brunnstrom and Lisa Lambert; Editing by raissa Kasolowsky and Rosalba O’brien

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