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North Korea's hacker army called 'world's leading bank robbers'

34 Comments
By Sunghee Hwang

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34 Comments

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No doubt those hackers are getting technical and financial aid from other countries like China and Russia as well.

They are outdoing their American and western counterparts.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Didn’t think they even had computers there. We can’t see if the screens they’re looking at are even on, or connected to anything...

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

North Korea's hacker army called 'world's leading bank robbers'

No that would be Wall Street in collusion with international banking authorities and the financial industry.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

And I thought the 'world's leading bank robbers' were the banks themselves. Oh, right, they are the 'world's leading central bank robbers'.

Rather than money or even cryptocurrency, isn't the most valuable commodity, today, personal information? If so, then there is a much higher level of thief that operates in the light of day.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Cut off their internet connections ban anyone associated with them, including the host states, from the SWIFT banking system. Seize their bank accounts as well as those they’ve ever done business with.

The N. Koreans like asymmetric warfare. Let’s show them what asymmetry looks like.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

"This allows North Korea to easily launder money back into the country, outside the control of the global banking system," he said. "Cryptocurrency is attractive because it is uncontrolled, borderless, and relatively anonymous."

Outside of the control of the global banking system and borderless?

Compared to the hanko and fax bureaucracy that is banking in Japan sounds like a net positive to me!

3 ( +5 / -2 )

That big pyramid shaped hotel with the purple light show on its exterior shown in 1st photo above, the Ryugyong Hotel, is an incomplete shell. Construction started in 1987 but stopped in 1992 with a shell and no windows. Construction resumed in 2008 and the exterior was finished in 2011. It remains a shell inside. The incomplete Pyongyang General Hospital, intended to be the nations showcase medical facility the exterior of which was completed just before the most recent Korean Workers Party Congress is likewise and empty shell, at least so far. It was built (thrown up?) in record time but now there are no signs the interior is being finished. Western sanctions have made obtaining building materials and medical equipment very difficult to obtain.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Didn’t think they even had computers there. We can’t see if the screens they’re looking at are even on, or connected to anything...

Quite a bit of electronics including cell phones and computers that say "Made in China" on them are actually assembled in North Korea for Chinese companies. Sanctions be darned. Also interesting is that since watch making is not one of the many industries proscribed by western sanctions, the North Koreans make movements for all kinds of watch brands including Swatch. There is an article on 38 North today I haven't had a chance to read about North Koreas home grown video conferencing software called Rakwon.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

When it was issued Assistant Attorney General John Demers called North Korea's operatives "the world's leading bank robbers", adding they were "using keyboards rather than guns, stealing digital wallets of cryptocurrency instead of sacks of cash".

If true, North Koreans will be petty thieves the real robber-barons are in ...you guess that.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

This is "Red Star" the North Korean OS. Basically Linux tweaked to look like macOS.

https://www.businessinsider.com/what-using-a-computer-in-north-korea-is-like-screenshots#red-stars-web-browser-is-called-naenara-and-it-is-a-heavily-modified-version-of-mozilla-firefox-8

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Maybe Japan should hire these hackers to advance its own third world IT systems.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Cut off their internet connections 

Did you read in the article how many countries their "Bureau 121" operates from?

"Today Pyongyang's 6,000-strong cyberwarfare unit, known as Bureau 121, operates from several countries including Belarus, China, India, Malaysia and Russia, according to a U.S. military report published in July 2020."

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Scott Jarkoff of cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike rates them highly: "They are extremely sophisticated, dedicated, and capable of conducting advanced attacks."

They are a serious threat according to this Jarkoff.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

They are a serious threat according to this Jarkoff.

It is true. They are one of the top four cyber threats globally.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

One side of me doesn't mind seeing crypto currency exchanges robbed by the Norks. They sort of deserve each other.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Sanction people to death and they will fight back.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Was there a mention of even a hint of evidence? Didn't actually read it

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Did you read in the article how many countries their "Bureau 121" operates from?

Yes, I did. Which is why I ALSO said, cut off SWIFT access to anyone, including nation states that does business with or allows them to operate on their territory.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Goodlucktoyou: Sanction people to death and they will fight back.

I though the idea of sanctions was to encourage them to address the issues for which they have been sanctioned in the first place, not to increase the levels of such activity, oh, and to starve their own people to death in the process.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It’s plausible, as they have IT support from China and quite a lot of young people in Pyongyang who are ideological hardliners from good schools and have plenty of time for studies and those hacking works, because they can’t shop so much or party in their leisure time, and some other aspects like better physical and health conditions as there are no illegal drugs or pills used compared to youth in the west. What to do? You need a mix of hardware and software solutions, cutting the cable connection to that area completely and physically and also making a compulsory IP tracing before every website or transaction call. Like everything data runs through widely known virus scanning , now every demand or call of an external site runs through an IP tracing software snippets. Shouldn’t be such a time or resource problem on modern hardware. And of course, not to forget, they have some people or communities outside of North Korea, anywhere in the world, not many and all of them, but some and also ‘effective’ ones. That’s more something for the services, but shouldn’t be in numbers and so difficult to detect.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Looks similar to Japanese office. same type of environment. Just replace Kim with the boss. Absolute!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

so its NOT the Russians? except when it is. Unless its the Chinese, except when its not. Then its the North Koreans unless it was the Russians or the Chinese. But its never the Iranians, except when they refuse to rejoin the nuclear deal, then it might be.

Clear as mud, driven by the political boogeyman of the moment in the USA.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

blacklabel: so its NOT the Russians? except when it is. Unless its the Chinese, except when its not. Then its the North Koreans unless it was the Russians or the Chinese. But its never the Iranians, except when they refuse to rejoin the nuclear deal, then it might be. Clear as mud, driven by the political boogeyman of the moment in the USA.

The US government didn't write or publish the article. You'll have to take it up with Sunghee Hwang and Japan Today.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

so its NOT the Russians? 

This article is about North Korean hackers in particular. Hackers from other countries are not mentioned. Why are you talking about them?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The most humiliating part is that Yakuzas are now pool boys for these North Koreans.

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2021/04/26/the-incredible-rise-of-north-koreas-hacking-army

North Korea penetrated into Japan long ago, easily.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Does anyone else think it's weird when the right-wing extremists try to claim newspapers outside of America are prey to moronic American politics? Not the swiftest fish in the class, are they.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

The most humiliating part is that Yakuzas are now pool boys for these North Koreans.

I guess that "the violent organized crime network of Japan isn't as cool as it used to be, and that's bad" is definitely an opinion you can have.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Jsapc: This article is about North Korean hackers in particular. Hackers from other countries are not mentioned. Why are you talking about them?

And

Strangerland: Does anyone else think it's weird when the right-wing extremists try to claim newspapers outside of America are prey to moronic American politics?

They work mundane jobs during the day, but at night they turn into incredibly intelligent human beings who know "what's really going on" from their keyboards. They're cherished and special and stand out.

Without that, they're just regular people.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The Associated Press is a newspaper outside America?

claim newspapers outside of America 

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

The Associated Press is a newspaper outside America?

Interesting, I referfed to morons, and you replied.

It must have been a mistake on your part, I'm as sure that you are not a moron as I am that Trump was a competent president.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Blacklabel: The Associated Press is a newspaper outside America?

The AP is based in the US.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Oh this is the AFP, not the AP. Fair enough. Which is also not a newspaper either.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Oh for goodness sake! not another Amazon refund scam call

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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