A recent hacking was just able to be connected to the communist country of North Korea, which is the latest in a string of attacks from the country. Cybersecurity firm Recorded Future stated that malware used in these attacks is very similar to the hack done on Sony Pictures as well as the Wannacry global ransomeware attack. Based on the data from the malware, Recorded Future has stated that these attacks are similar to the ones that occurred in South Korea carried out by the Lazarus hacking group. This group has notoriously been tied to the northern nation, but no action has been taken as of yet.
It appears that the malware was created sometime in mid-October and November, just as the price of bitcoin began to inflate by a massive amount. Other cryptocurrencies also experienced massive jumps in price at a similar time, so this is quite confusing. According to researchers Juan Andres Guerrero and Priscilla Moriuchi from Recorded Future, “this late 2017 campaign is a continuation of North Korea’s interest in cryptocurrency, which we now know encompasses a broad range of activities including mining, ransomware, and outright theft.” The report did not state how successful these attacks were at gaining anything whether it be money or information, but it is still difficult to say.
The difficult issue lies with the fact that the goal of the cryptocurrencies is to exist without the borders of a government or other body of power. This is something that would likely appeal to North Korea, as they have many issues with exportation of goods and so on. This is something that also appeals to the nation at the same time that the U.S. has been stepping up efforts to make sure the country is not involved in any world monetary efforts.