Sanctions from the US on N. Korea for crypto hacks

By | September 18, 2019

Further sanctions were announced by the United States Treasury Department against three North Korean government-sponsored hacker organizations accountable for “the malicious cyber activity on critical infrastructure in North Korea.”

The Trump administration stated penalties against three North Korean hacking organizations, named “Lazarus Group,” “Bluenoroff” and “Andarie,” which they claim are regulated by the government of North Korea and have been liable for a litany of malicious cyber assaults in latest years.

According to the Foreign Assets Control Office of the US Treasury, one of the organizations, Bluenoroff, has effectively taped cryptocurrency exchanges in cryptography for more than $500 million over the past two years.

But that is far less than the $2 billion the Hermit Kingdom was accused of filching by a UN study. The North Koreans rejected the report last Sunday as “un-hearted rumors”:

The North Korean declaration said that this week’s anticipation of sanctions, such manufacturing by hostile forces is nothing more than a kind of nasty match directed at tarnishing the picture of our Republic and finding grounds for sanctions and pressure campaigning against the DPRK.

The statement from the Treasury Department speculated that the alleged thefts “possibly help in misrepresenting revenue streams and cyber-enabled thefts that potentially also fund WMD and ballistic missile programs in North Korea.”

Citing industry and media reports, the government’s declaration said that “state-sponsored hacking organizations probably stole around $571 million in cryptocurrency alone from five Asian exchanges from January 2017 to September 2018.”

Sanctions in North Korea are no stranger. Several trade-related operations and travel to the nation have been approved by the US since 1950. So why is the issue now?

State Secretary John Bolton was fired by President Trump on Tuesday, saying it was partly due to the hardline position of Bolton against North Korea. So, perhaps, optics? Just a wild assumption.