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North Korean Hackers Behind Surge in Cyberattacks on Banks: Report

However, if North Korea is to be believed the hacker is nothing more than a figment of the US law enforcement's imagination

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Image source: wordpress.com

With the US-led sanctions damaging its economy, the North Korean government is using cyberattacks on banks to raise cash, according to US officials, the CNN reported.

A summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un ended on Thursday with no agreement after Washington refused Pyongyang’s demands for economic sanctions relief.

It is believed that the North Koreans are turning to cybercrime to steal money due to the increasing effectiveness of sanctions.

In just a few years, the North Korean intelligence services have grown capable of stealing large sums through sophisticated methods, Anthony Ferrante, a former Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and White House cybersecurity official, was quoted as saying on Friday.

Unlike hackers from other countries like Russia, Iran or China who focus more on gathering intelligence, the North Korean hackers focus on acquiring cash, added John Demers, Assistant Attorney General for National Security at the US Department of Justice.

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A man holds a laptop computer as cyber code is projected on him in this illustration picture. VOA

“The North Koreans have quickly become the world’s most advanced and persistent digital bank robbers,” said Ferrante, now Head of Cybersecurity at FTI Consulting, a business advisory firm.

In 2018, the US Justice Department charged a North Korean computer programmer in several cases of cybercrimes over the last four years, including the $81 million Bangladesh Bank heist in 2016, the Sony Pictures hack in 2014 and WannaCry ransomware attack in 2017 that infected thousands of computers in hospitals, universities and banks in several countries around the world.

The Department of Justice said that a person named Jin Hyok Park was responsible for the attacks and Park was believed to be a member of North Korea’s military intelligence outfit the Reconnaissance General Bureau as well as a suspected member of Lazarus, a hacking group which has been linked to a string of attacks against everything from banks to government agencies across the world.

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However, if North Korea is to be believed the hacker is nothing more than a figment of the US law enforcement’s imagination.

According to a 2018 report from cybersecurity vendor Group-IB, Lazarus was behind 14 hacking attacks on cryptocurrency exchanges since January 2017 — stealing $571 million. (IANS)

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Thousands Of Disney+ Accounts Hacked And Up For Sale On Dark Web

Hackers have hijacked thousands of Disney+ accounts and put them up for sale on the Dark Web

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Hackers have hijacked thousands of Disney+ accounts. Pixabay

As Disney garnered over 10 million subscribers for its online streaming service Disney+ on its first day of operation, reports have surfaced on Monday that hackers have already hijacked thousands of accounts and put them up for sale on the Dark Web.

ZDNet discovered several listings for Disney+ accounts on different underground hacking forums, selling for somewhere between $3 and $5.

The Disney+ launch was marred by technical issues and users reported being unable to stream their favourite movies and shows.

Several users reported losing access to their accounts.

“Many users reported that hackers were accessing their accounts, logging them out of all devices, and then changing the account’s email and password, effectively taking over the account and locking the previous owner out,” said the report on.

Disney was yet to comment.

In some cases, hackers gained access to accounts by using email and password combos leaked at other sites, while in other cases “the Disney+ credentials might have been obtained from users infected with keylogging or info-stealing malware”.

Researchers asked Disney+ to help users by rolling out support for multi-factor authentication and prevent more attacks.

Disney+ accounts sold on dark web
The hijacked Disney+ accounts are up for sale on dark web. Pixabay

On the very first day of release on November 12, Disney+ users collectively spent 1.3 million hours streaming and watching the content available to them on the platform for the first day of release.

As per reports, analysts projected that Disney+ would have anywhere between 10-18 million subscribers in its first year. Disney has signed up more than half of those projected numbers in 24 hours.

The service was launched in the US for $6.99 per month or $69 per year.

Also Read- Smart Bulbs Can Steal Personal Information Through Hacking

The company has announced the service will be launched in major European markets, including the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and “a number of other countries in the region” on March 31 next year.

Earlier, Disney had said that it expected to spend about $1 billion in 2020 on original content for the platform and $2 billion by 2024. (IANS)