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  • The notorious hacking group Lazarus has claimed to be working for the state.
  • The news was first reported by KCNA,  North Korea’s state-run news agency.

A recent U.N. report deemed North Korea for the major hacks of banks and cryptocurrency exchanges that laundered around $2 billion. Reuters reported that North Korea denied the allegation and accused the U.S. and “other hostile forces” of “spreading ill-hearted rumors.” The news was first reported by KCNA,  North Korea’s state-run news agency.

A spokesperson from the agency said:  

“Such a fabrication by the hostile forces is nothing but a sort of a nasty game aimed at tarnishing the image of our Republic and finding justification for sanctions and pressure campaign against the DPRK.”  

The report, researched by “independent experts,” was presented to the U.N. Security Council North Korea sanctions committee at the end of July. It said that North Korea has used “widespread and increasingly sophisticated” hacks to collect nearly $2 billion, which is laundered over the internet. The experts investigated “at least 35 reported instances of DPRK actors attacking financial institutions, cryptocurrency exchanges and mining activity designed to earn foreign currency” – activities that span around 17 nations. These hacks allow North Korea “to generate income in ways that are harder to trace and subject to less government oversight and regulation than the traditional banking sector.”  

Numerous North Korea’s hackers are believed to be operating under the Reconnaissance General Bureau, an intelligence agency that handles clandestine operations. Lazarus, the notorious hacking group, has been alleged to be working for the state and associated with major crypto exchange breaches, as well as attacks in the banking world, including an $81 million hack of the Bangladesh central bank three years ago.