USA charges North Korean spy over NHS cyber attack

07 September, 2018, 11:44 | Author: Angel Logan
  • Christopher Polk via Getty Images

Shortly after, . the U.S. Treasury Department slapped sanctions on the same individual.

A computer programmer allegedly working for the North Korean government has been charged in the U.S. with a series of massive cyberattacks around the world, including the WannaCry ransomware that infected computers in 150 countries and United States dollars 81 million bank heist in Bangladesh.

The hackers used the same aliases and accounts from the Sony attack when they sent spear-phishing emails to several USA defense contractors, including Lockheed Martin, and others in South Korea, officials said.

In addition to these criminal charges, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced that the Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated Park and KEJV under Executive Order 13722 based on the malicious cyber and cyber-enabled activity outlined in the criminal complaint.

The department also sanctioned the agency, stating that all property and interests of both Chosun Expo and Park within the US or in the possession of USA citizens must be frozen. The RGB is the agency that oversees "Unit 121" and "Lab 110", North Korea's cyber warfare units.

The charges against Park continue a strategy by the USA government to generate detailed, legally admissible cases against foreign cyber-attackers who are unlikely to ever stand trial in the United States.

The Department of Justice is charging a North Korean spy for the infamous Sony hacking that sent shock waves around Hollywood. The Seth Rogen comedy The Interview, a spoof centered on North Korea with a plot about the effort to assassinate Kim, wound up being put online by hackers on the eve of its release.

He is also charged with conspiring with others to steal $81 million from a bank in Bangladesh, according to the Justice Department's criminal complaint.

USA authorities say Park Jin Hyok was part of the state-sponsored "Lazarus Group".

The charges were brought against Park as the Trump administration seeks to improve relations with North Korea.

The hacking collective is also blamed for the hack on Sony Pictures in 2014.

The hackers used the same aliases and accounts from the Sony attack when they sent spear-phishing emails to several USA defence contractors, including Lockheed Martin, and others in South Korea, officials said.

North Korea has always been suspected - and accused - of having carried out the Sony hack and being behind the WannaCry ransomware but today those accusations were made formal.

The complaint was filed under seal on June 8, just days before a historic summit in Singapore between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

The attacks are alleged to have been carried out from North Korea, China and other countries. "We will get it done together!"

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