A report released by the U.S. Army reveals that North Korea now has more than 6,000 hackers stationed in countries such as Belarus, China, India, Malaysia, Russia, among others.
The operations of four subdivisions are overseen by Bureau 121, the hermit nation’s cyber warfare guidance unit.
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The report, called North Korean Tactics, suggests that Bitcoin Champion hackers are not launching cyber attacks exclusively from North Korea itself, as the country lacks the IT infrastructure to deploy the massive campaigns.
Financial Crimes Division
The „financial crime division“ called the Bluenoroff Group has about 1,700 members and is dedicated to cryptocrime „by focusing on long-term assessment and exploiting the vulnerabilities of enemy networks.
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The most famous team, the Lazarus Group, has carried out numerous high-profile hacking and crypto exchanges and unleashed WannaCry malware between 2016 and 2017. It was also behind the infamous Sony Pictures hack.
His mission is „to create social chaos by arming the vulnerabilities of the enemy network and delivering a payload if ordered by the regime“. However, the U.S. military was unable to estimate how many hackers there are in the division.
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In March, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned two Chinese citizens on charges of laundering cryptosystems that were stolen in a hack of a 2018 cryptosystem exchange linked to the Lazarus Group. OFAC accused Yinyin Tian and Juiadong Li of assisting in „malicious cyber activity.
According to the latest reports, North Korean-based cybercriminals are suspected of using untraceable privacy currencies to convert stolen funds into cash.