The Department of Justice (DOJ) has indicted three North Korean hackers as well as an Ontario man for participating in a series of widespread and destructive cyberattacks.
A federal indictment was unsealed in a DOJ press release on Wednesday morning, charging three computer programmers from the North Korean Reconnaissance General Bureau that engaged in criminal hacking.
The indictment alleges that the three participated in numerous large-scale schemes that included the Sony Pictures hack in 2014 and the WannaCry ransomware attacks in 2017. The DOJ also alleged that the group was targeting cryptocurrency companies and spear-phishing campaigns.
JUST IN: 3 North Koreans have been indicted for the crippling 2014 Sony hack and a wide-ranging scheme to steal and extort more than $1B of money and cryptocurrency from banks and companies based across the globe, federal prosecutors say. https://t.co/XLZZDkCXlr
— NBC News (@NBCNews) February 17, 2021
“The scope of the criminal conduct by the North Korean hackers was extensive and long-running, and the range of crimes they have committed is staggering,” Acting U.S. Attorney Tracy L. Wilikson said in the release. (RELATED: Man Ordered To Pay Almost $100,000 For International Money Laundering, Organizing ‘Money Mules’)
A second unsealed indictment targeted 37-year-old Ghaleb Alaumary from Ontario, Canada for acting as a money launderer in the North Korean cyber network, according to the statement. Alaumary, who is also being prosecuted for another involvement in a business email compromise scheme, has agreed to plead guilty.
Alaumary organized a team of co-conspirators for a scheme to launder millions from ATM cash-out operations, among other heists.
“This case is a particularly striking example of the growing alliance between officials within some national governments and highly sophisticated cyber-criminals,” U.S. Secret Service Assistant Director Michael D’Ambrosio said in the press release.