UNITED STATES: The United States and South Korea have jointly imposed sanctions on the Chinyong Information Technology Cooperation Company, based in North Korea, and an individual named Kim Sang Man. These actions are taken in response to the involvement of their IT workers in supporting the development of missiles and weapons of mass destruction.
The foreign ministry of South Korea has implemented additional penalties against Kim, the IT firm Chinyong, seven other individuals, and three businesses. According to reports from the Treasury, North Korea has numerous IT personnel located in China and Russia, who generate income to support the country’s WMD and ballistic missile programs.
The IT workers from the country utilize false identification, conceal their identities, locations, and nationalities when seeking employment. They operate covertly in various fields and industries, including business, health and fitness, social networking, sports, entertainment, and lifestyle.
The hiring of North Korean IT personnel has been associated with intellectual property theft. South Korea has already sanctioned three organizations – the 110th Research Centre, Pyongyang University of Automation, and Technical Reconnaissance Bureau – for their involvement in cyber operations and illegal revenue generation, which contributed to North Korea’s development of WMDs.
Brian Nelson, the Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, emphasized the extensive illicit cyber and IT worker operations of North Korea, which provide financing for the regime’s WMD and ballistic missile programs.
South Korea’s foreign ministry expressed its collaboration with the United States in efforts to prevent North Korea from using illegal cyber activities to generate malicious revenue.
The Technical Reconnaissance Bureau is responsible for directing North Korea’s offensive cyber operations and oversees personnel connected to the Lazarus hacker cell. They were accused of conducting the largest virtual currency heist to date, stealing $620 million from a blockchain project associated with the online game Axie Infinity in March 2022.
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