North Korean 'spy' charged over NHS cyber attack

North Korean 'spy' charged over NHS cyber attack


The Justice Department plans to announce charges Thursday against a North Korean government spy in connection with the hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment in 2014, according to reports.

The target: Park Jin Hyok is accused of being part of the Lazarus Group, a hacker collective that does the bidding of North Korea's military intelligence agency.

Park is believed to be part of a unit known as the "Lazarus Group", which the United States alleges is also tied to other spear-phishing campaigns, malware attacks, and the attempted theft of documents and money from banks in Southeast Asia and Africa.

Specifically, Park has been charged with one count of conspiracy to commit computer fraud and abuse, and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

"This was one of the most complex and longest cyberinvestigations the department has taken", said John Demers, assistant attorney general for national security.

A Justice Department official said there has been no communication with the North Korean government about Park or any efforts to capture him.

The U.S. Treasury Department has imposed sanctions against Park and the Chinese-based front company he worked for, Chosun Expo.

Park is also charged with being involved in numerous other attacks, including an alleged targeting of South Korean figures and Lockheed Martin, which officials noted runs a missile defense system in South Korea.

The 34-year-old worked "on behalf of the government of North Korea or the Workers' Party of Korea", according to U.S. authorities.

"We will not allow North Korea to undermine global cybersecurity to advance its interests and generate illicit revenues in violation of our sanctions", Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinTurkey's Erdoğan: USA behaving like "wild wolves" amid sanctions Senate delays Amazon hearing pending Postal Service review: report Trump moves toward public report on Postal Service overhaul by year's end MORE said in a statement.

The charges against Park continue a strategy by the USA government to generate detailed, legally admissible cases against foreign cyber-attackers who are unlikely to ever stand trial in the United States.

The charges were announced as President Trump and his administration negotiations with North Korea to end its nuclear program.

Earlier on Thursday, President Donald Trump praised North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un on Twitter. It's been a year and half since he launched a ransomware attack that hit hundreds of thousands of computers across the globe.

Meanwhile, a North Korean official denied the country was responsible for cyber attacks on Sony in an interview with Voice of America.

The investigators revealed that cinema chain AMC was also targeted because it was due to show the film, as well as an unnamed British production company that was also working on a film depicting North Korea.

  • Terrell Bush