The man named Park Jin Kyok who is the part of the Lazarus Group, a team of hackers, has been sanctioned under the strategy devised by the U.S. government for naming and shaming the hackers.
The hacker has also been involved in a breach that happened in the Central bank of Bangladesh in 2016; the team Lazarus also targeted defense contractor Lockheed Martin Corp ( LMT. N), according to a complaint registered against the group.
Sanctions have been imposed by the U.S. Treasury Department against Jin Hyok and Chosun Expo, the company he worked for.
In 2014, the U.S. officials declared that a North Korean based man is responsible for the cyber attacks launched on Sony, which resulted in the loss of data and internal documents.
The attack was carried out by Park after Pyongyang issued letters to Sony requesting the movie production house to stop the release of the movie “The Interview” which, according to the North Korean officials, portrayed their leader Kim Jong Un in the bad light.
According to the complaint, Park exploited multiple social media personas to send malicious links to the people involved in the production of the movie. The links contained malware that were controlled by North Korea.
In 2016, Wannacry ransomware made headlines and affected thousands of corporate offices across the world. The ransomware encrypted the files on the computers and denied access until the affected user deposits the money into the account of the attacker. This lead to cancellation of thousands of medical appointments as Britain’s National Health Service was also affected by the ransomware.
John Demers, the Assistant Attorney General of the National Security Division, said, “The department has charged, arrested and imprisoned hackers working for the governments of China, Russia and Iran. Today, we add the North Korean regime to our list, completing frankly four out of four of our principle adversaries in cyberspace.”
This is the first time when the U.S. law enforcement agencies have formally charged a hacker who is involved in the North Korean “sponsored” cyber attacks.