DOJ Indicts Three North Korean Military Programmers For Sony Hacks, Wide-Ranging Cybercrimes – Deadline

A federal indictment was revealed today accusing three North Korean computer programmers of widespread criminal conspiracy to devastating cyber attacks including Sony Pictures Entertainment, AMC Theaters, and Mammoth Screen.

The list of crimes cited by the Department of Justice includes a cyber attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment in November 2014 in retaliation for the interviewThe movie that depicted the fictional assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Targeting AMC theaters in December 2014, for which the film was due to be shown; A 2015 intrusion on Mammoth Screen, which was producing a fictional series featuring a British nuclear scientist captured in the DPRK.

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The indictment, filed in the US District Court in Los Angeles, alleges that Jun Chang Hyuk, Kim Il, and Park Jin Hyuk were members of units of the General Reconnaissance Office (RGB) – a military intelligence agency of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). Involved in criminal hacking. Park was previously charged in a criminal complaint related to the Sony hack that was revealed in September 2018.

Other alleged crimes of the trio include theft and extortion of more than $ 1.3 billion in money and cryptocurrency from financial institutions and companies; Creating and deploying multiple malicious cryptocurrency applications; And developing a blockchain platform and marketing it fraudulently.

Assistant Attorney General John C. Demers of the National Department of Justice said: “As stated in the indictment issued today, North Korean agents, who use keyboards instead of guns, and steal digital wallets for cryptocurrencies instead of bags of cash, are among the leading bank robbers in the country. World “Department of Security. “The Ministry will continue to confront malicious state cyber activity by using our unique tools and working with colleagues from agencies and a group of countries that adhere to standards to do the same.”

“The range of criminal behavior by North Korean pirates was wide and long-standing, and the scale of the crimes they committed is staggering,” said Acting US Attorney Tracy L. Wilkinson of Central California. “The conduct detailed in the indictment is the actions of a criminal nation-state that did not stop at anything to take revenge and obtain money to support its regime.”

Military hacking units in North Korea are known by multiple names in the cybersecurity community, including the Lazarus Group and the Advanced Persistent Threat 38 (APT38).

The cyber attack from Sony froze Sony’s computer systems and resulted in the disclosure of tens of thousands of leaked, sometimes embarrassing emails and materials. Sony canceled the theatrical release of the Seth Rogen spoof comic, the interviewAfter threats were directed at theaters and posted on YouTube instead. The studio eventually settled a class-action lawsuit by employees over the leaked information, agreeing to pay $ 8 million.

In the wake of the hack and the scandal that followed, Amy Pascal resigned her position as Co-Chair of Sony Pictures Entertainment and Chairman of the Motion Picture Group,

This attack was revenge. Today, the Department of Justice today cited a wide range of criminal cyber activities being carried out by the conspiracy, in the United States and abroad, for revenge or financial gain.

The allegations include attempts from 2015 to 2019 to steal more than $ 1.2 billion from banks in Vietnam, Bangladesh, Taiwan, Mexico, Malta and Africa by penetrating bank computer networks and sending fraudulent messages from the international community for interbank financial communications (SWIFT).

The Department of Justice also claims to create the destructive WannaCry 2.0 ransomware program in May 2017, blackmail companies from 2017 through 2020 including stealing sensitive data and spreading other ransomware, as well as developing several malicious cryptocurrency applications from March 2018 through September 2020 on The least, which would give North Korean hackers a backdoor into the victims’ computers

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