(Reuters) – US has accused three North Korean computer programmers of massive hacking aimed at stealing more than $ 1.3 billion in money and cryptocurrency, affecting companies from banks to Hollywood movie studios, the Justice Department said on Wednesday  The indictment alleges that Jon Chang Hyok, 31, Kim Il, 27, and Park Jin Hyok, 36, stole money while working for North Korea's military intelligence. Mr. Park had previously been charged in a complaint that was not completed in 2018.
The Department of Justice said the hackers were responsible for a wide range of criminal activity and high-profile intrusions, including a 2014 retaliatory attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment to produce the "Interview" film,
The group allegedly targeted AMC Theaters staff and hacked into computers belonging to Mammoth Screen, a British film company working on a drama series about North Korea.
The Ministry of Justice also claimed that the trio participated in the creation of the destructive WannaCry 2.0 ransomware ̵
The indictment blames hackers for breaking into banks across South and Southeast Asia, Mexico and Africa by to infiltrate financial institutions' networks and misuse the SWIFT protocol to steal mo no. so have distributed malicious applications from March 2018 to September 2020 to target cryptocurrency users.
The total amount stolen by the hackers is not clear because in some cases the thefts were either stopped or reversed. But the numbers are significant. In a hoist in 2016 alone – at Bangladesh Bank – hackers are alleged to have made $ 81 million dollars.
"North Korea's agents use keyboards rather than weapons and steal digital wallets from cryptocurrencies instead of bags of cash," is the world's leading national bank robber from the 21st century, "U.S. Assistant Attorney John Demers said in a news release.
Kristi Johnson, FBI Deputy Chief of the Los Angeles Field Office, told reporters that the three alleged hackers were believed to be in North Korea. Officials claimed they had been stationed at times in various other countries, including China and Russia. was found. The Chinese and Russian embassies in Washington also did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
In total, North Korea has generated an estimated $ 2 billion in "widespread and increasingly sophisticated" digital intrusions into banks and cryptocurrencies, according to a UN report. in 2019 by independent experts overseeing international sanctions against Pyongyang.
"According to one Member State, North Korea's total theft of virtual assets, from 2019 to November 2020," amounted to approximately $ 316.4 million, according to the report.
Officials said on Wednesday that Ghaleb Alaumary, a Canadian-American citizen, has pleaded guilty to laundering the money of some of the alleged hackers. Requests for comment on Alaumary's lawyers were not immediately returned.
Alaumary is scheduled to be sentenced in June in a federal court in Georgia. Catalog