Threat Watch

United States Offering Reward for Information Identifying North Korean Threat Actors

North Korea: A joint advisory released from the United States offers up to five million dollars to anyone who can identify individuals conducting cyber-attacks on behalf of North Korea. The advisory outlined the newest attacks that have been seen from North Korean government-backed threat actors–most specifically the Lazarus Group, which is the most prominent threat group from North Korea. The report specifically called out the threat to financial institutions and the disruptive cyber-attacks being carried out towards this industry from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). Most notably in the report, the United States is now offering up to five million dollars to anyone who can supply information about “illicit North Korean activities in cyberspace.” North Korea has been accused of many costly and destructive cyber operations, including the $81 million Bangladesh Bank heist, the $250 million theft from cryptocurrency exchanges, and the global WannaCry ransomware infections that crippled corporate networks.

ANALYST NOTES

North Korean cyber operations have continued over the past years and have proved to be an effective way for the country to gain finances. The attacks on the United States have always been destructive and they have been seen to more recently carry out cyber-espionage campaigns. In order to receive a reward, which could be less than five million dollars, information that is gathered would have to identify specific people conducting cyber-attacks on behalf of the government of North Korea, which may prove to be difficult for many researchers. It is unlikely that identifying individuals who cannot be extradited from North Korea will alter North Korea’s willingness to conduct cyber operations and steal money. Financial institutions should continue to prioritize defenses against the tactics and techniques used by the DPRK.

More information can be read here: https://thehackernews.com/2020/04/north-korea-hackers.html
Detailed information on the conditions for receiving a reward are here: https://rewardsforjustice.net/english/about-rfj/north_korea.html