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A 2011 attack that tried to shut down South Korean network broadcast companies and banks.
A 2012 attack on a right-wing South Korean newspaper.
Months later, cybersecurity researchers concluded that it was yet another notch in the belt of one of the most destructive hacker collectives on the Internet, the “Lazarus Group,” previously accused of being behind the devastating 2014 Sony Pictures Entertainment hack and other attacks — and working for North Korea.
Now, the Lazarus Group has been tentatively linked to another audacious attack for cash, raising the question of whether North Korea has started sticking up Internet users while carrying out its very public standoff with the United States.
Experts initially thought it was the work of amateurs.“This piece of ransomware has a lot of bugs in it, a lot of weird things that other ransomware doesn’t have in it,” Chien said.
“There’s actually no way [for the hackers] to determine who paid and who didn’t pay,” meaning that the chances of getting your files unlocked after paying a ransom “is very, very low.”Others have speculated that, if Wanna Cry is the work of North Korea, maybe the attackers just wanted to to test out its disruptive capabilities for future political attacks — a motive that would not be outside the realm of possibility for the Lazarus Group.“There’s definitely no ceiling on their ambition,” Chien said.
” a moderator asked Ledgett.“I do,” Ledgett replied.
The Wanna Cry ransomware would be an unusual development, should North Korea end up being implicated — an instance of a nation trying to steal money from foreign users, both governmental and private.
S., shutting down hospitals in Britain and hijacking terminal screens at train stations in Germany, probably causing billions of dollars in damage. But as analysts and investigators began picking apart Wanna Cry for forensic clues — the digital equivalent of dusting for prints — a cybersecurity researcher at Google named Neel Mehta found something in an older version of the virus.
You have folks that are very focused on making money….
Then, thirdly, we have pure foreign intelligence cyber espionage.”With the Sony hack, for example, La Montagne said, Lazarus was “delving into all three.” And the group’s ambition seems unbounded.“The scale of Lazarus operations is shocking,” the Russia-based cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab said in a report on the Lazarus Group’s activities, likening its production to “a factory of malware.” “All this level of sophistication is something that is not generally found in the cybercriminal world.
Hundreds of thousands of computers have been hijacked in the last week by a virus called “Wanna Cry,” which freezes files on computers and demands a ransom for their release.
It’s called ransomware, and it’s a new spin on old-fashioned stickups: Pay up with bitcoin, the digital currency, or lose the files forever.