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    Think Ocean’s 11—only the robbers are cash-starved, nuke-thirsty North Koreans and their weapons are keyboards, not explosives and guns. In the latest efforts to fund Kim Jong-Un’s nuclear ambitions, hackers suspected of working for the North Korean government appear to have slithered their way into the computer networks of an Indonesian bank in an apparent attempt to pull off a megaheist to fund regime goals, The Daily Beast has learned. It was around February of 2020 when the hackers, suspected of working for North Korea’s military intelligence agency—the Reconnaissance General Bureau (RGB)—are believed to have targeted the networks of Bank Rakyat Indonesia, cybersecurity researchers that have studied the malware culprit told The Daily Beast. The hackers appear to have gone after the bank’s networks with custom-made North Korean malware, according to a technical report on the apparent breach obtained by The Daily Beast. It remains unclear whether the North Korean hackers were successful in stealing any money—the report doesn’t confirm with 100 percent certainty that the hackers were successful in hitting the bank and making off with the cash—but...
    NORTH Korea's elite army of 7,000 cyber soldiers rival the CIA in their expertise and wreak chaos as "the world's biggest bank robbers", experts say. The regime's tech wizards are groomed from childhood to steal billions around the globe — which tyrant Kim Jong-un spends on weapons and his nuclear missile program. 5Kim Jong-un has an army of cyber soldiers waging financial war around the worldCredit: Reuters 5State-backed hackers are estimated to have stolen billions of dollars to fund his nukesCredit: Getty Experts warn Kim's expert hackers are a bigger threat to the world than Vladimir Putin's cyber criminals in Russia. Crippling attacks on NHS hospitals and Sony Pictures in recent years were a "wake up call" highlighting their growing reach. Other targets in more than 150 countries have included military sites, international banks and Bitcoin investors. And earlier this year it was reported Pyongyang's keyboard warriors tried to hack into drug maker Pfizer to steal secrets of its Covid vaccine. Yet a report last month in New Yorker Magazine revealed how the West had been ignoring alarm bells for...
    More than 50 years ago, North Korea captured the USS Pueblo and subjected the spy ship’s crew to “barbarity” for almost a year, treatment that “required medical and/or psychiatric intervention” for the men upon their release in December 1968. Today, crew members and their families face the challenge of finding North Korea’s assets so they can realize their shares of $2.3 billion judgment against Pyongyang handed down by a U.S. district court. In a memorandum opinion issued Feb. 16 but filed and made public Wednesday, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia stated that “North Korea was liable” for “its incorporated theories of assault, battery, false imprisonment, intentional infliction of emotional distress, solatium, and wrongful death.” Memorandum opinion on USS Pueblo: The court awarded compensatory and punitive damages to 171 plaintiffs, including living crew members, the estates of deceased crew members, and living family members and the estates of deceased family members. The court granted a baseline award of $3.35 million for each crew member, which would amount to $10,000 for each of the 335 days that the crew members...
    A Nigerian Instagram star conspired with North Korean hackers to steal more than $1.3 billion from companies and banks in the U.S. and other countries, federal prosecutors said. Ramon Olorunwa Abbas, 37, also known as “Ray Hushpuppi,” is being accused of helping three North Korean computer hackers steal the funds from companies and banks, including one in Malta, in February 2019, according to the Justice Department. “North Korea’s operatives, using keyboards rather than guns, stealing digital wallets of cryptocurrency instead of sacks of cash, are the world’s leading bank robbers,” Assistant Attorney General John Demers of the Justice Department’s National Security Division said in a statement on Feb. 17. Abbas — who has 2.5 million followers on Instagram, where he would post photos of his luxury cars — somehow found time for still more banking-related crimes, the feds say. He worked with Ghaleb Alaumary, 37, a Canadian who was charged with laundering millions of dollars from ATMs in the U.S. and Pakistan and a bank in India, prosecutors say. Last July, the Nigerian national was arrested...
    (CNN)Federal prosecutors charged three North Korean hackers with conspiring to steal more than $1.3 billion from banks and companies around the world, the Justice Department announced Wednesday. In an indictment unsealed in California, authorities described a range of brazen operations carried out by the trio from 2014 to 2020, targeting high-profile movie studios and cryptocurrency traders with sophisticated technology that national security officials said underscored the country's status as a leading cybercrime threat. Members of a military intelligence agency, the three hackers are accused of carrying out the 2014 attack on Sony in retaliation for a movie that lampooned the North Korean leader, as well as a devastating hit on the central bank of Bangladesh in 2016, which netted the rogue nation some $81 million. They're also said to have orchestrated digital heists of cryptocurrency and intrusions of ATMs using novel strands of malware. "As laid out in today's indictment, North Korea's operatives, using keyboards rather than guns, stealing digital wallets of cryptocurrency instead of sacks of cash, are the world's leading bank robbers," said John Demers, the head of...
    Three North Korean computer programmers have been charged in Los Angeles with committing a wide array of cyberattacks and stealing more than $1.3 billion in a conspiracy that targeted financial institutions and other companies around the world, federal authorities announced Wednesday. The alleged hackers were working for a North Korean military agency, the Reconnaissance General Bureau, and pursuing strategic and financial goals of the country’s leader, Kim Jong Un, authorities said. In an indictment unsealed Wednesday, a federal grand jury in Los Angeles charged that Jon Chang Hyok, 31, Kim Il, 27, and Park Jin Hyok, 36, targeted entertainment companies, online casinos, defense contractors, energy utilities and others in the U.S., Bangladesh, Mexico, Indonesia, Britain, Vietnam, Pakistan and other countries. Among the targeted companies was Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. Embarrassing emails sent by Sony executives were made public in 2014 in retaliation for the studio’s release of “The Interview,” a comedy film that depicted the fictional assassination of Kim Jong Un. One of the accused hackers, Park, was charged in the Sony attack in 2018, and now the other two...
    Bitcoin soared on Tuesday to an all-time high reaching the $50,000 milestone at $50.602.Alain Pitton | NurPhoto | Getty Images Federal authorities said Wednesday that three North Korean computer programmers have been indicted for conducting a series of cyberattacks to steal and extort more than $1.3 billion in cash and cryptocurrency from financial institutions and companies. The programmers also are accused of creating and deploying "multiple malicious cryptocurrency applications, and to develop and fraudulently market a blockchain platform," according to a Department of Justice press release. At the same time, authorities announced that a Canadian-American citizen agreed to plead guilty to charges in a money-laundering scheme, and admitted to helping the indicted North Koreans "cash-out" their "cyber-enabled bank heist." Officials said the charges laid out Wednesday expands a case from 2018 that detailed the cyberattack on Sony Pictures and the creation of the ransomware known as WannaCry. "North Korea's operatives, using keyboards rather than guns, stealing digital wallets of cryptocurrency instead of sacks of cash, are the world's leading bank robbers," said Assistant Attorney General John Demers of the Justice...
    By Christopher Bing (Reuters) – North Korean hackers are tapping into banks around the globe to make fraudulent money transfers and cause ATMs to spit out cash, the U.S. government warned on Wednesday. A technical cybersecurity alert jointly written by four different federal agencies, including the Treasury Department and FBI, said there had been a resurgence in financially motivated hacking efforts by the North Korean regime this year after a lull in activity. “Since February 2020, North Korea has resumed targeting banks in multiple countries to initiate fraudulent international money transfers and ATM cash outs,” the warning reads. U.S. law enforcement titled the hacking campaign “Fast Cash” and blamed North Korea’s Reconnaissance General Bureau, a spy agency, for it. They described the operation as going on since at least 2016 but ramping up in sophistication and volume recently. Over the last several years, North Korea has been blamed by U.S. authorities and private sector cybersecurity companies for hacking numerous banks in Asia, South America and Africa. “North Korean cyber actors have demonstrated an imaginative knack for adjusting their tactics to...
    The Sentry, the George Clooney-supported investigative team that follows the dirty money connected to African war criminals and transnational war profiteers, has published a report it says exposes North Korea’s exploitation of vulnerabilities in the DR Congo banking system to escape sanctions and access the global financial system. Clooney co-founded the org with John Prendergast and the actor donated $1M towards its work back in 2017. “Don’t think for a second that corruption and money laundering in a place like the Democratic Republic of Congo doesn’t impact international security,” said Clooney. “When banks fail to fulfill basic compliance requirements – and when governments turn a blind eye – organized crime and terror financing will always flourish.” Related Story Jeffrey Katzenberg, George Clooney & Byron Allen Among L.A. Hosts Of Post-Convention Joe Biden-Kamala Harris Fundraiser Titled Overt Affairs, the report claims to expose “a cascade of due diligence failures, compounded by entrenched corruption involving allies of former DRC President Joseph Kabila”, and shine a light on how two North Korean nationals working through their company Congo Aconde obtained a US dollar-denominated account at...
    The Justice Department on Thursday filed charges against more than two dozen Chinese and North Korean individuals in an alleged scheme to divert more than $2.5 billion in illegal funds for North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. The Justice Department (DOJ) charged 28 North Koreans and five Chinese nationals -- some of whom were executives of North Korea’s state-owned bank, Foreign Trade Bank, which was sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department in 2013 and cut off from the U.S. financial system. KIM JONG UN MAKES FIRST PUBLIC APPEARANCE SINCE MAY 1, STATE MEDIA SAYS According to the indictment, obtained by Fox News, the individuals, including bank officials, allegedly set up branches around the world -- including in Thailand, Russia and Kuwait -- and used 250 front companies to process U.S. dollar payments to further the country’s nuclear proliferation program. One of the bank officials had previously served in North Korea’s primary intelligence bureau. Further, the Justice Department is accusing China of helping to facilitate the illegal banking transactions through government-controlled telecom companies. WHAT IS PLAN 5029? THE 'MISSION IMPOSSIBLE-STYLE' PLAN IN PLACE TO SECURE...
    (CNN)The US Justice Department on Thursday unsealed criminal charges against more than two dozen North Korean bankers, alleging they were behind an international money laundering scheme that moved some $2.5 billion in violation of US sanctions. Twenty-eight North Korean nationals face a slew of charges related to bank fraud, money laundering and criminal enterprises, in what appears to be the first case brought against members of the North Korean financial system.The 50-page indictment, which was signed in February and unsealed Thursday morning in Washington, DC, federal court, details a web of front companies and "cover branches" of a state-sponsored bank that were stood up in foreign countries, including China and Russia to help skirt international restricts on the regime's ability to spend globally. Five Chinese nationals also were charged. The scheme, dating back to 2013, was allegedly built amid several years of escalating sanctions placed by the US and other world powers on North Korea that aimed to deter the country's growing arms capacity and have crippled their economy. The bank at the center of the Justice Department's allegations, the...
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