U.S. imposes sanctions on North Korean hackers accused in Sony attack, dozens of other incidents
The U.S. Department of Treasury imposed sanctions on three North Korean hacking groups controlled by the state’s primary intelligence agency, the Reconnaissance General Bureau. Officials claim the Lazarus Group, Bluenoroff, and Andariel used ransomware and attacks on banks, ATM networks, gambling sites, online casinos, and cryptocurrency exchanges to fund Pyongyang’s nuclear missile program. Lazarus Group, the largest of the three, was also responsible for the hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment in 2014 and the WannaCry ransomware outbreak from May 2016.
It is unclear what kind of impact the sanctions will have, however John Hultquist, director of intelligence analysis for FireEye noted, “Calling this stuff out even if we can’t be sure that it will make a difference is worth doing. It illuminates the threat. And anytime we face a threat like this, the best thing the government can do is inform the victims and get the information out there.”
North Korea has denied allegations of orchestrating global cyberattacks and accused the U.S. of conducting a smear campaign to undermine talks between President Trump and Kim.