US says North Korea is behind cyberattacks dating back to 2009 – CNET


US says North Korea is behind a spree of cyberattacks since 2009 and more are expected to come.

James Martin/CNET

North Korea is responsible for cyberattacks dating back to 2009, and more are planned, according to the US government. 

The US Department of Homeland Security and the FBI made a joint statement on Tuesday, reports Reuters, in which they said the perpetrators of the attacks are “cyber actors of the North Korean government” who target computers running older unpatched versions of Microsoft Windows. It can also use vulnerabilities in Adobe Flash to gain access into specific computers, the alert said. 

The DHS and FBI referred to the responsible group as “Hidden Cobra,” saying it’s previously been called Lazarus Group and Keepers of the Peace. Some cybersecurity experts have pinned the recent WannaCry ransomware attacks on Lazarus Group, and in 2014 the FBI said a North Korean hacker group called Keepers of the Peace were behind the infamous Sony hacks. 

These were big-time hacks, with WannaCry, a malware locking users out of their computer, hitting more than 300,000 PCs in more than 150 countries in a matter of days. The hack into Sony Pictures was a big enough deal for the president to respond, with then-President Barack Obama saying the attack “caused a lot of damage.” 

The DHS and FBI didn’t specify any particular hack made by the group. They did say, though, that Hidden Cobra is capable of introducing malware, keystroke logging, using remote access tools and employing denial of service attacks. 

CNET has reached out to the DHS and FBI for more information.

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