Hackers from North Korea using “unfamiliar tools” have attempted to steal money from an Israeli crypto firm, presumably to fund the country’s secretive nuclear program, according to reports in Israel.
According to Channel 12 News, the attack saw the hackers pose as a Japanese supplier to the unnamed firm and use what have been described as “professional and sophisticated” tactics to try to gain access to funds.
Luckily, the attempted theft “set off alarm bells in Israel” and was spotted and derailed by a cybersecurity firm.
The cybersecurity firm in question said that, if the attack had been successful, the stolen funds would have been used to further develop Pyongyang’s nuclear program.
According to Channel 12, it’s unclear whether this claim can be verified or if it’s just an educated guess based on the country’s past form.
North Korean hackers at it again
A UN report last year said that North Korea had stolen more than $300 million in crypto to prop up its weapons programs.
As reported by Channel 12, much of this came from two attacks in 2020 — an $81 million raid on the Bangladesh Central Bank and a $60 million heist from Taiwan’s Far Eastern International Bank.
Korean hackers were also in the frame for 2017’s WannaCry ransomware attack that targeted 300,000 computers in 150 nations.
And Pyongyang’s cyber criminals have even targeted Hollywood, allegedly hacking Sony Pictures in 2014 as revenge for the company’s film The Interview, which mocked the country’s leader Kim Jong Un.
It’s worth noting that, despite heavy sanctions imposed upon North Korea and its weapons programs, continued rocket launches show that the country isn’t struggling for funding or materials.