North Korea’s In The Cybercrime Game Too

June 8, 2016 — Leave a comment

sonySecurity Professionals Are Not In One Accord When it Comes to Sony,

But We Can All Be Sure, They’re Part of The Nation State Threat

The First Nation-State Backed Bank Robbery?

From the Wall Street Journal, “Investigators believe they’ve found the culprit behind cyberattacks on banks in Asia: Kim Jong Un. Having long used counterfeiting, drug trafficking, gun running and slave labor to gain hard currency, North Korea’s dictator may have pulled off the first state-backed digital bank robbery in history.

Symantec Says North Korea….

Symantec recently pointed to Jong Un as the brains that took $81 million from Bangladesh’s central bank earlier this year, and hit two commercial banks in the Philippines and Vietnam.

The funny thing is, the code used in these attacks looks just like the code used to attack Sony…and as far as Symantec can tell, it’s not code being used anywhere else. Suddenly the link between Sony and North Korea is stronger.

In an SVLC Insider’s Circle interview I conducted  late last year with Former NSA Agent Summer Worden, she warned us of this. In her comments she names China, Russia, and North Korea, saying, “They are cooperating with each other for economic reasons, and going after U.S. companies.”

The two banks mentioned above are not U.S., but we can be certain there will be more of this, and the U.S. will be a target.

Some Sound Bites to Note From a Recent WSJ Report:

“The attackers sought to transfer nearly $1 billion out of Bangladesh’s central bank.”

“$81 Million was taken.” – Note, the bank was able to detect the breach before the $1 Billion amount was taken – Detection, Response.  Still, this is reportedly one of the largest bank heists ever.

“This attack compromised the bank’s SWIFT money transfer system – however it was compromised on the bank’s side, not the SWIFT Society’s system.”  SWIFT transactions total about $5 Trillion each day! (Note: a SWIFT patch has been issued!)

It used to be thought that North Korea did have the technology to do this type of thing. The WSJ report corrects our thinking, stating, “Don’t underestimate Pyongyang’s technological capabilities. The same regime that starves its people also produced counterfeit $100 bills so hard to detect that U.S. officials dubbed them “supernotes.” (note: Pyongyang also has enough nuclear material to make more than 10 bombs.)

Expect This To Grow!

Will they continue this type of thing? My sources say yes.  Like with Sony, the U.S. threatened to do something, but nothing was ever done. Expect more of this until someone steps up to take action.

© 2016, David Stelzl

 

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