The US Warns Against Bank Hacking by North Korea


The US warns against North Korean hackers who fraudulently transfer money or have ATMs hand out cash.


Four US government agencies are issuing a technical cybersecurity alert warning of the practice. This is an attack method that has been in use since 2016 but has been reviving since February this year and is now more common and more sophisticated.

The warning says that several malware variants are used to enter bank networks, hack ATMs, or point of sale systems (cash registers).

The technique of making large amounts of cash, or fraudulent transfers, should help the North Korean government with money, according to the US. Due to the many sanctions, the dictatorship can hardly trade, and it has to obtain income in other ways.

There are not many details about where the practices take place. The warning says the problem is global. In the case of attacks in the past, this was mainly at banks in Asia, South America and Africa.

The practice is reminiscent of Bpost, which preventively emptied 89 ATMs this summer to prevent hacking. Argenta previously also took such a measure. But it is not clear whether the actions of the two banks are related to the hacking practices from North Korea.

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