Feds supply $5m reward for information on North Korean cyber crooks • The Register

The US authorities provided a reward as much as $5 million for data that helps disrupt North Korea’s cryptocurrency theft, cyber-espionage, and different illicit state-backed actions.

The money can be awarded “for information that leads to the disruption of financial mechanisms of persons engaged in certain activities that support North Korea, including money laundering, exportation of luxury goods to North Korea, specified cyber-activity and actions that support WMD proliferation,” in keeping with the Feds.

This consists of “information on those who seek to undermine cybersecurity, including financial institutions and cryptocurrency exchanges around the world, for the benefit of the Government of North Korea.”

The State Department introduced the money incentive, which is a part of its Rewards for Justice program, on Friday. The bounty comes a day after the FBI blamed Lazarus Group, the cybercrime gang that does the soiled work for North Korea’s Reconnaissance General Bureau, for the theft of $620 million from online game Axie Infinity’s Ronin Network.

Caltech grad will get 5 years for Korean crypto

Earlier this week, a US court docket sentenced an American citizen to greater than 5 years in jail, and fined him $100,000, for offering cryptocurrency and blockchain technical recommendation to North Korea in breach of sanctions. 

Virgil Griffith, who has a doctorate in computational and neural techniques from Caltech, started instructing the N. Korean authorities on how one can mine digicash and launder the cash in August 2018. He proved so well-liked that in April 2019 Griffith went to North Korea and gave a presentation on the Pyongyang Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Conference titled “Blockchain and Peace.”

On his return he admitted [PDF] encouraging different Americans to go to North Korea and assist it increase its coin-mining operations. He labored to arrange a cryptocurrency trade between North and South Koreans. But he was interviewed by the FBI in May 2019 and arrested shortly afterwards.

Griffith pleaded responsible to conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and was sentenced to serve 63 months behind bars and fined $100,000 by a southern New York federal distract court docket. Upon launch he can have an extra three years of probation.

“There is no question North Korea poses a national security threat to our nation,” US Attorney Damian Williams stated in a assertion. “Mr Griffith admitted in court he took actions to evade sanctions, which are in place to prevent the DPRK from building a nuclear weapon.”

Lazarus Group, together with Kim Jong-un’s different cyber goons, are maybe finest identified for the notorious WannaCry assaults and many cryptocurrency theft.

However, when they aren’t bilking folks and organizations out of tens of millions of {dollars}, additionally they take pleasure in cyber spying on high-impact targets. Fresh proof was revealed this week linking a latest espionage marketing campaign towards South Korean targets to file hashes, file names, and instruments beforehand utilized by Lazarus, in keeping with Symantec. ®

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