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The U.S. Treasury Department on Friday sanctioned three hacking groups that it says have ties to North Korea’s intelligence bureau and have stolen millions from banks and other companies around the world.
Lazarus group and two of its sub-groups, Bluenoroff and Andariel, controlled by North Korea’s primary intelligence Agency, the Reconnaissance General Bureau (RGB), which is also involved in the arms trade, the Treasury Department, said in a press release.
The groups have “probably money closed to $571 million in the crypto-alone, five stock exchanges in Asia between January 2017 and September 2018,” said the Ministry.
“Treasury’s action against the North Korean Hacker groups, were carried out Cyber attacks in support of the illegal weapons and missile programs,” said Sigal Mandelker, Undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence. “We will continue to ensure the enforcement of existing U.S. and U. N. sanctions against North Korea and work with the international community to improve the cybersecurity of the financial networks.”
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The US government makes the action easier to take assets, the Hacker groups have in the context of the jurisdiction of the American financial institutions, although they are likely to be limited, if they exist at all.
Lazarus group was created in 2007 and notorious Sony hacked Pictures Entertainment in 2014, shortly before the release of “The Interview”, a Comedy about an assassination plot against Kim Jong-Un.
Lazarus was also responsible for the 2007 WannaCry 2.0 ransomware attack, the affected drive at least 150 countries, and down about 300,000 computers, paralyzes a third of the UK’s National Health Service hospitals.
The group, the objectives of the governments and the military, as well as entertainment, financial, manufacturing, media, publishing and international shipping companies, the Treasury Department said. Their tactics include destructive malware, cyber-espionage, money, heists, and theft of data.
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North Korea formed the Bluenoroff group, so hack financial institutions in response to the increase of the economic sanctions it could. By 2018, the group had tried to steal more than $1.1 billion and had allegedly carried out the successful attacks on banks in Bangladesh, Chile, India, Mexico, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, Taiwan, Turkey and Vietnam.
The group targeted at least 16 organizations in 11 countries, the Ministry of Finance, said. To steal it even with the Lazarus group for $ 80 million from the Central Bank of Bangladesh in New York’s Federal Reserve account.
“Through the use of malware similar to that in the SPE-cyberattack, Bluenoroff and Lazarus-a group of 36 large fund transfer requests, the steal with a stolen SWIFT credentials in an attempt to, a total amount of $851 million, said a human error alerted to prevent the additional funds will be stolen, the” treasure chamber.
The third group sanctioned Friday, Andariel, was first seen in the year 2015 and is said to be the enemies of South Korea, to collect “information, and to create disorder,” the Treasury Department said. In the year 2016, hacked the group to steal the South Korean Minister of defense, personal computers and targeted the Ministry of defense intranet, the military intelligence.
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Andariel performs malicious hacking operations in the armaments industry, corporate, financial services, infrastructure, foreign companies, governments and private companies, the Treasury Department said.
The group also developed malware to hack online poker and gambling sites and hacked ATMs to steal credit card information, either to cash or to steal information from customers for the sale on the black market.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.