US Offers $10 Million for Information on North Korean Hackers

The US government has announced on Twitter that it will reward any information about Pyongyang-based hacker groups. Several North Korean hackers have been targeting cryptocurrency companies for two years to recover funds and fund weapons programs, according to Washington.

The US is on the hunt for information on North Korean hackers, and the reward for this is colossal: up to $10 million (about 9.8 million euros). The announcement was made on Twitter on July 26, 2022 to inform as many people as possible.

“If you have information about individuals associated with malicious cybergroups associated with the North Korean government (for example, Andariel, APT38, Bluenoroff, Guardians of Peace, Kimsuky, or Lazarus Group) that are involved in an attack on US critical infrastructure in violation of computer Fraud and Abuse Act, you may be eligible for a reward,” the wanted notice reads.

A $5 million bounty was already launched in March for information about the financial mechanisms used by North Korean hackers to send stolen money to their government. This amount doubled in four months.

The announcement of such a reward comes a week after $500,000 in bitcoin belonging to North Korean hackers was confiscated. The US Department of Justice reported that the hackers recovered such an amount thanks to a ransomware campaign. The main attacker, collectively known as Lazarus, has targeted companies in the blockchain community and cryptocurrency exchanges.

Crypto in the viewfinder

In a report released earlier this year, blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis linked Lazarus Group to seven attacks on cryptocurrency platforms in 2021 that resulted in the theft of more than $400 million worth of virtual assets. Earlier this month, Microsoft warned that another North Korean group, DEV-0530, had succeeded in extorting money from many small and medium-sized businesses in Europe and the US.

Ransomware, cryptocurrency theft, money laundering and extortion are the tactical arsenal of hackers in Pyongyang to generate income and mitigate international sanctions.

Cryptocurrencies elude government control and are used for black market trading, making them attractive to a country like North Korea under international sanctions. // Source: Vassilis Hatsopoulos / Unsplash

“North Korea has carried out cyber heists against financial institutions and cryptocurrency exchanges around the world, potentially stealing hundreds of millions of dollars that will likely fund government priorities such as its nuclear program and nuclear missiles,” CISA points out for its part. US Cyber ​​Defense Agency.

We know that these same groups are trying to recover information about the arms companies in parallel. In June last year, they attacked members of European defense groups in an attempt to break into their smartphones and computers, cybersecurity company ESET said. The campaign has certainly paid off, with Kim Jong-un saying on July 28 that North Korea is “ready to deploy” nuclear weapons in case of conflict.

For further

Crypto scammers innovate: there are now fake apps // Source: Vassilis Chatsopoulos / Unsplash

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