CNN: Justice Department seizes $500K from North Korean hackers who targeted US medical organizations

CNN: Justice Department seizes $500K from North Korean hackers who targeted US medical organizations. “The US Justice Department seized approximately half a million dollars that North Korean government-backed hackers had either extorted from US health care organizations or used to launder ransom payments, deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said Tuesday as she touted an aggressive US strategy to claw back money for victims of ransomware attacks.”

CNN: Here’s how North Korean operatives are trying to infiltrate US crypto firms

CNN: Here’s how North Korean operatives are trying to infiltrate US crypto firms. “North Korean government-backed hackers have stolen the equivalent of billions of dollars in recent years by raiding cryptocurrency exchanges, according to the United Nations…. Now, US federal investigators are publicly warning about a key pillar of the North Korean strategy, in which the regime places operatives in tech jobs throughout the information technology industry.”

Reuters: Crypto crash threatens North Korea’s stolen funds as it ramps up weapons tests

Reuters: Crypto crash threatens North Korea’s stolen funds as it ramps up weapons tests. “The nosedive in cryptocurrency markets has wiped out millions of dollars in funds stolen by North Korean hackers, four digital investigators say, threatening a key source of funding for the sanctions-stricken country and its weapons programmes. North Korea has poured resources into stealing cryptocurrencies in recent years, making it a potent hacking threat and leading to one of the largest cryptocurrency heists on record in March, in which almost $615 million was stolen, according to the U.S. Treasury.”

WIRED: Good Luck Not Accidentally Hiring a North Korean Scammer

WIRED: Good Luck Not Accidentally Hiring a North Korean Scammer . “Last week, the US Treasury, State Department, and Federal Bureau of Investigation jointly issued a 16-page alert warning businesses to guard against a particular scam in which North Korean IT workers apply for freelance contracts—often with wealthy North American, European, and East Asian firms—to generate revenue for their country. The workers pose as IT workers of other nationalities, pretending to be remote workers from South Korea, China, Japan, Eastern Europe, or the US. The alert notes that there are thousands of North Korean IT workers taking on such contracts.”

Reuters: North Korea’s Kim orders military to stabilise supply of COVID drugs

Reuters: North Korea’s Kim orders military to stabilise supply of COVID drugs. “Leader Kim Jong Un has ordered North Korea’s military to stabilise distribution of COVID-19 medicine in the capital, Pyongyang, in the battle on the country’s first confirmed outbreak of the disease, state media said. Last week brought the North’s first acknowledgment of an ‘explosive’ outbreak, with experts warning it could devastate a country with limited medical supplies and no vaccine programme.”

Korea Future: Launching the North Korean Prison Database

Korea Future: Launching the North Korean Prison Database. “Today we launch the North Korean Prison Database — a growing and comprehensive archive of international human rights law violations and atrocities that have transpired in the North Korean Penal system. The database preserves and manages evidence gathered through detailed investigations by Korea Future. To date, we have identified 597 perpetrators linked to 5,181 human rights violations committed against 784 detainees in 148 penal facilities.”

Washington Post: What’s happening inside North Korea? Since the pandemic, the window has slammed shut.

Washington Post: What’s happening inside North Korea? Since the pandemic, the window has slammed shut.. “North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump were sitting across a circular wooden table for a brief photo opportunity at their 2019 summit in Vietnam when a U.S. reporter asked a question of Kim. To the world’s surprise, he responded — the first time Kim, the leader of the world’s most closed society, engaged with the foreign media. In the 2½ years since, North Korea has basically clammed up again. It has become so opaque that Kim’s stunning exchange in Hanoi seems unimaginable in the current information vacuum.”

North Korea rejects offer of almost 3 million Covid-19 jabs (BBC)

BBC: North Korea rejects offer of almost 3 million Covid-19 jabs. “North Korea has asked that almost three million Covid-19 jabs offered to it be redirected elsewhere, the UN says. A spokesperson said the country had asked that the shots be relocated to harder hit nations in view of global vaccine shortages. The Chinese-made Sinovac shots were offered under the Covax programme which aims to help poorer nations obtain vaccines.”

Ars Technica: Critical 0-day that targeted security researchers gets a patch from Microsoft

Ars Technica: Critical 0-day that targeted security researchers gets a patch from Microsoft. “Microsoft has patched a critical zero-day vulnerability that North Korean hackers were using to target security researchers with malware. The in-the-wild attacks came to light in January in posts from Google and Microsoft. Hackers backed by the North Korean government, both posts said, spent weeks developing working relationships with security researchers. To win the researchers’ trust, the hackers created a research blog and Twitter personas who contacted researchers to ask if they wanted to collaborate on a project.”

Google Blog: New campaign targeting security researchers

Google Blog: New campaign targeting security researchers. “Over the past several months, the Threat Analysis Group has identified an ongoing campaign targeting security researchers working on vulnerability research and development at different companies and organizations. The actors behind this campaign, which we attribute to a government-backed entity based in North Korea, have employed a number of means to target researchers which we will outline below.”

North Korea Tech: North Korean stamps website appears

North Korea Tech: North Korean stamps website appears. “The Korea Stamp site is operated by the country’s national stamp issuer to sell North Korean stamps to collectors worldwide. The site incudes a catalog of several thousand stamps dating back to just after the end of the Second World War in 1946. Newer stamps are apparently for sale, each costing between a few U.S. cents and a few U.S. dollars, but I couldn’t get the shopping cart function to work.” Please note that this is for informational purposes only and I do not advocate doing business with North Korea. It feels weird to include that disclaimer, but these are weird times.

NPR: North Korea Executed Coronavirus Rule-Breaker, Says South Korean Intelligence

NPR: North Korea Executed Coronavirus Rule-Breaker, Says South Korean Intelligence. “North Korea is taking increasingly harsh measures to stop the coronavirus from entering the country, including executing an official in August who violated anti-virus rules, South Korean intelligence officials told lawmakers on Friday. In a closed-door briefing to a parliamentary intelligence committee on Friday, the officials told lawmakers that the executed North Korean had brought goods through customs in the city of Sinuiju on North Korea’s border with China, in violation of coronavirus-related quarantine measures.”