Seoul: South Korean President Park Geun-hye on Wednesday warned North Korea of facing harsher sanctions unless it abandons its nuclear weapons programme, Yonhap news agency reported.
North Korea has long been under an array of US and international sanctions for its nuclear and missile programmes.
However, the country has rejected repeated international calls to give up its nuclear programme, viewing it as a powerful deterrent against what it claims is the US’s hostile policy against it.
“International sanctions on North Korea will become harsher as long as it does not give up its nuclear programme, which in turn could eventually heighten the instability of the North Korean regime,” Park said.
She also urged North Korea to come forward for dialogue as she vowed to step up efforts to resume talks.
The two Koreas last held high-level talks in February 2014.
Amid growing crypto-jacking episodes, a North Korean hacking group called Lazarus has stolen cryptocurrencies worth more than half a billion dollars.
According to The Next Web that cited findings from the annual report of cybersecurity vendor Group-IB late on Friday, Lazarus was behind 14 hacking attacks on cryptocurrent exchanges since January 2017 — stealing $571 million.
Lazarus is a hacking group which has been linked to a string of attacks against everything from banks to government agencies across the world.
Hackers targeted cryptocurrency exchanges with spear phishing, social engineering, and malware.
“Spear phishing remains the major vector of attack on corporate networks. For instance, fraudsters deliver malware under the cover of CV spam [with an attachment] that has a malware embedded in the document,” the findings showed.
Group-IB expects the number of targeted attacks on cryptocurrency exchanges to rise, and not just the ones from Lazarus.
Nearly 10 per cent of the total funds raised by Initial Coin Offering (ICO) platforms over the past year and a half have been stolen.
According to the report, large phishing groups are capable of stealing $1 million a month.
Fraudsters are even building fake websites using stolen cryptocurrency project descriptions and plagiarized white papers.
“Fraudulent phishing-schemes involving crypto-brands will only get more complex as well as cybercriminals’ level of preparation for phishing attacks,” the group warned.
Security researchers have claimed that North Korea-based advanced persistent threat (APT) groups are increasingly attacking financial institutions and Bitcoin exchanges.
There were on average five new threat samples every second that resulted in a massive 629 per cent growth in cryptojacking and other cryptocurrency mining malware in the first quarter of 2018.
The coin miner malware grew a stunning 629 per cent to 2.9 million in the first quarter of 2018, from around 400,000 total known samples in Q4 2017, said a recent report from global cyber security firm McAfee.