Cybersecurity personnel has thwarted an attempted attack on an Israeli crypto firm masterminded by North Korean hackers.
Hackers originating from North Korea recently attempted to steal funds from an Israel-based crypto company but had their efforts frustrated by cybersecurity personnel.
The company, which remains unidentified at the time of writing, was attacked through an impersonation scheme in which the hackers positioned themselves as Japanese suppliers, Times Of Israel reports. The report notes that the hack mechanism was professional and sophisticated.
Notwithstanding the sophistication, the hack attempt was foiled by personnel from Tel Aviv-based cybersecurity company Konfidas. According to the local report, the appliances utilized in the hack were enigmatic, setting off “alarm bells in Israel.” There is an assertion that the funds would have gone towards fostering the nuclear program at the North Korean capital of Pyongyang, but this claim could be based on previous attacks from North Korean hacking groups.
North Korea’s cybercrime capabilities became apparent in 2014 following claims that it had hacked American entertainment firm Sony Pictures in retaliation for the 2014 movie “The Interview,” which ridiculed North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un.
Since then, several top hacks on central banks and government agencies have been linked to North Korea. Reports suggest that hackers from the country were responsible for the $60M theft from the leading Taiwanese financial entity, the Far Eastern International Bank.
Additionally, the 2017 global epidemic that was the WannaCry ransomware attack has been traced to hackers from North Korea. The crypto-related hack, which attacked computers using the Microsoft Windows OS, encrypted the data of the affected users and demanded payments in Bitcoin.
Furthermore, the Lazarus Heist of 2016, which saw $81M siphoned from the Bangladesh national bank, has been linked to North Korean hackers. The original plan of the cyber attack was to steal as much as $1B from the central bank of Bangladesh, but the damage was mitigated soon enough.
Amidst crippling sanctions, North Korean hackers had illegally procured over $300M worth of crypto assets in several attacks which went into developing the East Asian country’s nuclear weapons program, according to a confidential UN report previously leaked to the public.
Information from the document revealed that hackers from North Korea had explored vulnerabilities noticed in crypto exchanges and financial entities, stealing funds for the Pyongyang weapons program.