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North Korean Hackers Move to Attacking Individuals After Firms Boost Security

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The CEO of cybersecurity company Cuvepia announced that his firm identified more than 30 attacks on crypto-bearing individuals that might have been conducted by North Korean hackers.

This is according to the South China Morning Post.

Kwon Seok-Chul, the CEO of the said South Korean cybersecurity firm, expressed that the new focus of the alleged North Korean cyberattacks “are just simple wallet users investing in cryptocurrency.” He added that many instances probably haven’t been identified, and that there may have been more than 100 attacks.

The “targeting of individuals holding virtual currencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) marks a departure from its previous methods.” Reports have popped up alleging that North Korea backed two cryptocurrency scams this year: hacks subsidized by the country reportedly comprise of 65% of all cryptocurrency stolen to date.

Simon Choi, the founder of cyber warfare research firm IssueMakersLab, claims that the shift towards attacking individuals to cybersecurity enhancements by exchanges and financial institutions:

“Direct attacks on exchanges have become harder, so hackers are thinking about alternatively going after individual users with weak security.”

Choi also said that most targets have been affluent South Koreans since “they believe that if they focus on CEOs of wealthy firms and heads of organisations” then “they can take advantage of billions of won in virtual currencies.”

According to Luke McNamara, an expert at cybersecurity company FireEye, “it’s possible from initial invasions they’ve been able to gather information” about “people using these [cryptocurrency] exchanges.”

McNamara said that “when they understand and know the targets” then “they are able to craft lures specific to those organisations or entities.” He also said that this makes them “effective at what they are doing.”

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