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U.S. charges N. Korea hacker over cyberattacks

The United States on Thursday charged a North Korean computer programmer for his involvement in a conspiracy to conduct multiple destructive cyberattacks around the world, including one on California-based Sony Pictures Entertainment in 2014.

A criminal complaint alleges that Park Jin Hyok was a member of a government-sponsored hacking team and worked for Chosun Expo Joint Venture, a government front company, to support North Korea’s malicious cyber actions, the Justice Department said.

It was the first time the U.S. has charged a North Korean hacker, according to U.S. media.

(Getty/Kyodo)

But it was not known if North Korea would make Park available to U.S. law enforcement authorities.

The Treasury Department the same day sanctioned Park and the company over the malign cyber activities outlined in the criminal complaint.

The activities include the creation of the malware used in the 2017 WannaCry 2.0 global ransomware attack and the 2016 fraudulent transfer of $ 81 million from the central bank of Bangladesh.

«Today’s announcement demonstrates the FBI’s unceasing commitment to unmasking and stopping the malicious actors and countries behind the world’s cyberattacks,» said Christopher Wray, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

«We stand with our partners to name the North Korean government as the force behind this destructive global cyber campaign,» Wray said in a statement.

Separately, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin pledged to hold the North Korean regime accountable for its cyberattacks and other destabilizing activities.

«We will not allow North Korea to undermine global cybersecurity to advance its interests and generate illicit revenues in violation of our sanctions,» Mnuchin said.

All — Kyodo News+

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