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UN Accuses North Korea of Stealing from Nigeria, others through Cyber Attacks

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North Korea launched 35 different cyberattacks on Nigeria and 16 other countries to illegally raise money for weapons of mass destruction programs, according to United Nations experts.

North Korea is being probed by United Nations experts for cyberattacks on 17 countries.

UN Accuses North Korea of Stealing from Nigeria, others through Cyber attacks

North Korea launched 35 different cyberattacks on Nigeria and 16 other countries to illegally raise money for weapons of mass destruction programs, according to United Nations experts.

The Associated Press reports that the experts accused the Asian country, led by Kim Jong Un , of illegally acquiring as much as $2 billion from its sophisticated cyber activities against financial institutions and cryptocurrency exchanges.

While Nigeria was only attacked once, South Korea was attacked 10 times, followed by India (3), Bangladesh (2), and Chile (2).

Other countries attacked once by North Korea are Costa Rica, Gambia, Guatemala, Kuwait, Liberia, Malaysia, Malta, Poland, Slovenia, South Africa, Tunisia and Vietnam.

According to a confidential report prepared for the United Nations the attacks sought to set up fake interbank transfers by hijacking bank computers and infrastructure, and to steal cryptocurrency tokens through direct attacks on users as well as crypto exchanges.

Earlier in August Reuters saw a summary of the report, which said that some $2 billion, the equivalent of around (₦730 billion), was lost to a wave of North Korean cyber crimes.

The attacks are being described as “widespread and increasingly sophisticated”. Even more worrying is that North Korea’s hackers didn’t even feel the need to hide their identities.

In one instance – in a country that was not named – suspected North Korean hackers compromised a bank’s ATM infrastructure to such an extent that agents spread across more than 20 countries could make 10,000 cash withdrawals.

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The hackers also carried out cyberattacks through the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) used to transfer money between banks.

To achieve this, bank employee computers and infrastructure were accessed to send fraudulent messages and destroy evidence.The experts noted in the report that implementing North Korea’s increasingly sophisticated attacks “is low risk and high yield”, and often requires just a laptop computer and internet access.

The reported attacks are being investigated as attempted violations of U.N. sanctions.

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