North Korea’s cyberwarfare efforts are rapidly gaining notoriety across the world. Known as Unit 180, it is suspected of being behind the Lazarus hacking group that launched several high profile cyberattacks; including the devastating Wannacry ransomware from earlier this month.
Both Symantec and Kaspersky Labs have found evidence that link the North Koreans to the cyberattack that infected some 300,000 systems across 150 countries. However, it is still too early to determine if this was really the source of the attack and not a copycat hacker who happened to borrow some code.
Unit 180 is also part of North Korea’s spy agency, which has been known to have set up shop right here in Malaysia. Yoo Dong-ryul, a former South Korean police researcher has studied North Korean espionage techniques for 25 years, and says that Malaysia has also been a base for the military dictatorship’s cyberwarfare efforts.
“They work in trading or IT programming companies on the surface,” Yoo told Reuters. “Some of them run websites and sell game and gambling programs.” An earlier report from Reuters revealed two Malaysian companies with links to North Korea. Despite this, there is no evidence that links the Wannacry attack to Malaysia.
The Lazarus group is known for its attack on Sony Pictures and the Central Bank of Bangladesh. The former resulted in millions of leaked emails and business operations brought to a halt for weeks. The latter ended with $81 million stolen, with the money lost.
[Source: The Star]