According to the US Government, North Korean IT staff are flooding the freelance market. It’s unlawful for US companies to make use of them, however, what in the event that they don’t know they’re doing it? In this new distant work world we’re residing in, it’s utterly potential. The North Korean staff are concentrating on every kind of technology-focused companies, however in fact, the CNN report on the matter centered on cryptocurrency corporations.
“It’s an elaborate money-making scheme that relies on front companies, contractors and deception to prey on a volatile industry that is always on the hunt for top talent. North Korean tech workers can earn more than $300,000 annually — hundreds of times the average income of a North Korean citizen — and up to 90% of their wages go to the regime, according to the US advisory.”
In distinction, that is what the US Government really revealed:
“The DPRK dispatches thousands of highly skilled IT workers around the world to generate revenue that contributes to its weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and ballistic missile programs, in violation of U.S. and UN sanctions. These IT workers take advantage of existing demands for specific IT skills, such as software and mobile application development, to obtain freelance employment contracts from clients around the world, including in North America, Europe, and East Asia.”
It’s value noting that the doc doesn’t point out “crypto” or “bitcoin,” however let’s learn what mainstream media has to say.
How Does CNN Relate North Korean IT Workers To Crypto?
The plan is easy, to affiliate this new growth with the quite a few crypto-related hacks that NewsBTC has well timed reported on:
“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. In some cases, they’ve been able to nab hundreds of millions of dollars in a single heist, the FBI and private investigators say.”
To set up authority, CNN additionally quotes US Government-related people, like “Soo Kim, a former North Korea analyst at the CIA.” She mentioned, “(The North Koreans) take this very seriously. It’s not just some rando in his basement trying to mine cryptocurrency it’s a way of life.” Is she speaking concerning the hackers or the job hunters, although? “Even though the tradecraft is not perfect right now, in terms of their ways of approaching foreigners and preying upon their vulnerabilities, it’s still a fresh market for North Korea,” she mentioned later, apparently speaking concerning the job hunters.
Another authority determine CNN options is “Fred Plan, principal analyst at cybersecurity firm Mandiant, which investigated suspected North Korean tech workers”. He says, “Most of these crypto firms and services are still a long way off from the security posture that we see with traditional banks and other financial institutions”. He’s proper about that, however, what does that must do with freelancers on the lookout for jobs in IT?
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What About Those Hacks That Everyone Keeps Talking About?
The solely authority determine that relates the IT staff to North Korean hackers is “Nick Carlsen, who until last year was an FBI intelligence analyst focused on North Korea.” What this man says could be an important a part of the article. “These guys know each other. Even if a particular IT worker isn’t a hacker, he absolutely knows one. Any vulnerability they might identify in a client’s systems would be at grave risk.”
The CNN article retains it as obscure as potential concerning the hacks:
“Pyongyang-linked hackers in March stole what was then the equivalent of $600 million in cryptocurrency from a Vietnam-based video gaming company, according to the FBI. And North Korean hackers were likely behind a $100 million heist at a California-based cryptocurrency firm, according to blockchain analysis firm Elliptic.”
Luckily for you, NewsBTC is right here to assist.
What Does NewsBTC Know About The North Korean Hackers?
The first merchandise appears to discuss with the Axie Infinity/ Ronin hack. About that one, we reported:
“The alphabet company traced the funds to wallets related to North Korean hacking group Lazarus. Does The Block’s article full or negate this model of the story? It’s onerous to see North Koreans pulling a stunt fairly like this.
In any case, on the time the FBI was extraordinarily clear in a press release quoted right here:
“Through our investigation we were able to confirm Lazarus Group and APT38, cyber actors associated with the DPRK, are responsible for the theft of $620 million in Ethereum reported on March 29th.”
If the IT distant staff’ story is true, we had been fallacious by saying, “It’s hard to see North Koreans pulling a stunt quite like this.” The second merchandise appears to discuss with the Harmony hack, and to explain that one we’ll quote our sister website Bitcoinist, who reported:
“The United States government believes that Lazarus was acting on behalf of North Korea’s covert intelligence service. Elliptic, a blockchain analytics company, disclosed in a report that: “The theft was achieved by compromising the cryptographic keys of a multi-signature wallet — most likely through a social engineering attack on members of the Harmony team. The Lazarus Group has routinely employed such methods.”
And that’s what we all know up to now. Are the North Korean IT staff associated to the hackers? Probably so, however, the US Government didn’t even point out cryptocurrencies or bitcoin of their “Guidance on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea information technology workers.”
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