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US sanctions 3 North Korean groups blamed for launching hacking attacks globally

ANI | Updated: Sep 14, 2019 15:00 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Sep 14 (ANI): The US Treasury Department on Friday announced sanctions on three hacker groups from North Korea that it said were involved in conducting cyber attacks on behalf of the Communist government to generate revenue for the regime's nuclear and missile programmes.
The Department said that the new measures target Lazarus Group, Bluenoroff, and Andariel, all of which are controlled by the Reconnaissance General Bureau, North Korea's primary intelligence bureau, Yonhap news agency reported.
Lazarus Group's activities were widely reported after it was blamed for the 2014 cyberattack of Sony Pictures Entertainment and the 2017 WannaCry ransomware attack on countries including the United States and Britain.
Bluenoroff and Andariel, the Treasury said, are sub-groups of Lazarus Group.
"Treasury is taking action against North Korean hacking groups that have been perpetrating cyberattacks to support illicit weapon and missile programmes," Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Sigal Mandelker said in a statement.
"We will continue to enforce existing US and UN sanctions against North Korea and work with the international community to improve the cybersecurity of financial networks," she said.
The sanctions freeze all of the entities' property and interests in the US, as well as those of other entities that are owned 50 per cent or more by the three groups.
Bluenoroff had attempted to steal more than USD 1.1 billion from financial institutions by 2018, and successfully carried out such operations against banks in countries including South Korea, Bangladesh and India, the statement said.
Last week a panel of experts from the United Nations estimated that North Korea has acquired as much as USD 2 billion through cyberattacks and said it is conducting investigations into at least 35 reported cyberattacks involving North Korean actors. (ANI)