US blames North Korea for series of cyberattacks


The alert warned that North Korea would continue to rely on cyber operations to advance its military and strategic objectives.North Korea has routinely denied involvement in cyber attacks against other countries.

Cyber tools deployed by North Korea include DDoS botnets, keyloggers, remote access tools and various malware. The North Korean mission to the United Nations was not immediately available for comment.

The advisory's first message is that anyone detecting activities by the DPRK, codenamed "Hidden Cobra" (aka the Lazarus Group or Guardians of Peace), should report activity through the DHS National Cybersecurity Communications and Integration Center (NCCIC) or the FBI Cyber Watch (CyWatch).

In this most recent alert, the Federal Bureau of Investigation refers to a group known as "Hidden Cobra" which, according to Symantec and Kaspersky Lab, is likely to have been behind the recent WannaCry ransomware outbreak.

"The Hidden Cobra malware is used to conduct DDoS-attacks by abusing a number of technologies, such as CGN (Carrier Grade NAT), NTP (Network Time Protocol) and DNS".

The alert said Hidden Cobra has compromised a range of victims since 2009 and that some intrusions had resulted in thefts of data while others were disruptive.

No surprise in this, you might say, after all the U.S. has been accusing the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) of causing trouble in cyberspace as far back as the high-profile attack on Sony in 2014. Hidden Cobra may have also been behind several serious cyber attacks on South Korean financial, energy, and transportation firms.

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Lazarus most commonly targets out-of-date Microsoft Windows machines and Adobe Flash vulnerabilities to gain initial entry.

North Korea has occasionally used zero-day vulnerabilities, which are those in which there are no patches, for attacks.

Security analysts tell Reuters they're concerned about the increasingly aggressive cyber attacks from the North.

June 15, 2017 North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un inspects a Pyongyang building project in 2016. On Tuesday, the US blamed North Korea for a recent hacking spree and warned of more attacks.

The North Korean government is very good at hacking-and they're targeting media, aerospace, and financial companies in the United States.

But intense studies of more recent attacks by the USA government and researchers have contributed to a belief that North Korea has developed a potent cyber capability. The official was not authorized to speak publicly.