North Korea tried to hack into IAEA

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was the target of a targeted cyberattack last year. This attack was carried out by Kimsuky, a hacker group backed by North Korean intelligence. Hackers also allegedly attempted to infiltrate the network of one of South Korea’s largest defence companies.

This writes the Japanese newspaper Nikkei on the basis of a report from the United Nations (UN).

Defence company in South Korea was also targeted

It states that the attack took place in May 2021. Thanks to the IP address, the attack could be traced back to the North Korean hacker collective Kimsuky. According to the researchers, hackers attempted to enter the IAEA’s computer network by means of phishing messages.

The attackers impersonated well-known developers of websites and applications. By assuming this identity, they tried to get their victims to leave their details. According to the report, the perpetrators managed to obtain the email addresses of government employees and a security officer from the International Atomic Energy Agency, Nikkei reports.

The IAEA was not Kimsuky’s only target last year. The North Korean state hackers also tried to hack into the VPN network of Korea Aerospace Industries, the largest defence company in neighbouring South Korea. The goal was to steal competitively sensitive and confidential company data about technological developments.

Sanctions against North Korea

The authors of the report write that North Korea has stolen tens of millions of dollars worth of cryptocurrencies. In total, North Korea is said to have looted more than $400 million in cryptos worldwide by attacking investment companies, crypto brokers and crypto trading platforms.

The amount corresponds to a report by research agency Chainalysis, which appeared in January. Communist leader Kim Jung-un is reportedly using the proceeds to fund nuclear weapons development. Since the beginning of this year, North Korea has already tested seven long-range missiles. These could theoretically be equipped with a nuclear core.

This is a draft version of the report, that emphasizes the Japanese daily Nikkei. The final version of the report is expected in March. That investigation is being submitted to a committee that deals with sanctions against North Korea. The report could form the basis for more or stricter measures against the communist and authoritarian regime of Kim Jung-un.

Attacks by Chinese and Russian spies

Attacks by foreign powers on Western targets is nothing new under the sun. On Monday, the General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD) warned that spies from China and Russia are creating fake accounts on LinkedIn. For example, they try to gain entry into business networks and steal confidential data.

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