US is Suing Three North Koreans Development Of WannaCry Ransomware

US authorities have charged three North Korean men on suspicion of involvement in the development of the WannaCry ransomware, attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment and attempts to steal large amounts of money from banks and companies worldwide.

The three would have been part of a North Korean military intelligence service. From 2015 to 2019, they tried to steal $ 1.2 billion from banks in Vietnam, Bangladesh, Taiwan, Mexico, Malta and Africa through the Swift system. The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (Swift) is an international cooperative organization for international banking transactions. Banks can execute transactions via the Swift system. Several of the attacks on the banks failed, but in the case of the attack on a bank in Bangladesh, it was successful and 81 million dollars was stolen.

The three are also blamed for the attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment in 2014. The company was attacked for the movie "The Interview", which shows an assassination attempt on the North Korean leader. Attackers sent malware to Sony employees to gain access to the corporate network. Subsequently, large amounts of data were stolen and all kinds of systems made unusable.

In addition, the men are suspected of developing the WannaCry ransomware in 2017 and using other ransomware to extort companies and organizations. Furthermore, the trio is said to have developed various rogue cryptocurrency applications that gave them access to victims' money. Various attacks on crypto exchanges are also attributed to the three.

A Canadian-American man who allegedly laundered money for the three has confessed to debt. The FBI seized $ 1.9 million in stolen cryptocurrencies from the three men in two crypto exchanges. The three North Koreans have each been charged with two crimes, with a total prison sentence of 35 years. The Canadian-American man can receive a prison sentence of up to 20 years for money laundering.

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