Hackers keep North Korea’s weapons program running | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


Hackers keep North Korea’s weapons program running

One of the key elements of any deal to denuclearize North Korea will be easing the many-layered sanctions regime that the United Nations and countries around the world have placed on the North. On paper, these sanctions impose restrictions on financial transfers, seafood imports, oil and gas trading, and a host of other activities. In reality, North Korea has found a lot of ways to make money. One of those methods? Wired reports that an elite hacking team comprising fewer than 20 individuals pilfered $1 billion in 2018 alone.

That’s nothing to sneeze at for a country which in 2015 had a GDP estimated at just $40 billion. The group known as APT 38 specializes in spear-phishing, a technique where hackers gain entry to an organization by sending seemingly legitimate emails. Experts at FireEye, a cybersecurity firm that released a report on APT 38, say the North Korean operatives wait on average 155 days in a target’s system, carefully observing a network for its layout, required permissions, and system technologies. Then they strike.

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