U.S. charges North Korean man linked to Sony hack and WannaCry

U.S. charges North Korean man linked to Sony hack and WannaCry

U.S. charges North Korean man linked to Sony hack and WannaCry

The Justice Department plans to announce charges Thursday against a North Korean government spy in connection with the hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment in 2014, according to reports.

The Justice Department alleged that Park was a member of a government-sponsored hacking team known to the private sector as the "Lazarus Group", and worked for North Korean government front company Chosun Expo Joint Venture (Korea Expo Joint Venture or KEJV) to support the North Korean government's "malicious" cyber actions.

Back In 2014, . the Federal Bureau of Investigation accused North Korean hackers of a major cyber intrusion into Sony Pictures, . which resulted in internal documents being leaked and data being destroyed.

U.S. defense contractors, including Lockheed Martin, were among the alleged targets, though the document says the attempts to infiltrate Lockheed's computer systems were not successful.

Prosecutors said Mr Park was believed to be in North Korea. "The United States is committed to holding the regime accountable for its cyber-attacks and other crimes and destabilizing activities".

Separately, the Treasury Department announced the imposition of financial sanctions on Park, who was named a specially designated national, a category created to make it illegal for any dollar-based financial institution to conduct business with him.

The sophisticated operation involved the use of false websites for Facebook and Google to fool unsuspecting computer users into downloading malware that gave the North Koreans access. It also led to the cancelled release of the film The Interview.

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He was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit computer fraud, and another count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

The North Korean government has repeatedly denied responsibility for the hack but called it "a righteous deed".

"Kim Jong Un of North Korea proclaims "unwavering faith in President Trump".

In February 2016, Bangladesh Bank was the victim of a cyber-heist that caused a loss of $81m with an attempted theft that approached $1 billion.

The Trump White House also announced previous year that it believed North Korea was behind for the WannaCry attack, which spread rapidly through hundreds of thousands of computers in more than 150 countries last May. "If they don't, this president will act on behalf of the United States".

Senate intelligence committee vice chairman Mark Warner, D-Va., hailed the strategy on Thursday but said Washington has more work ahead in determining ways to try to prevent big cyberattacks before the fact. Sony eventually opted not to release the film in theaters, releasing it instead via digital downloads.

The attack on Sony Pictures, for example, started with hackers doing research on the company in September 2014, and the malware used to attack its computers was customized as the result of a period of "sustained covert reconnaissance" by the hackers within its network before they launched the attack that disabled its computers.

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