The US Department Of Justice Seizes $500,000 From North Korean Hackers
The United States Department of Justice has recovered $500,000 in crypto-ransomware paid to North Korean hackers who launched Maui ransomware attacks on at least two U.S. medical facilities.
The US department has recovered $500,000 from North Korean hackers
According to an official statement, the US Department of Justice seized roughly $500,000 in ransom payments made to North Korean hackers by a medical center in Kansas last year, as well as cryptocurrency used to launder the payments, said Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco on Tuesday.
While the hospital quickly paid the attackers, they also notified the FBI, which Monaco described as “the right thing to do for both themselves and future victims.” The notification allowed the FBI to trace the payment using blockchain analytics, the same techniques used after the attack on the US Colonial Pipeline.
“Thanks to rapid reporting and cooperation from a victim, the FBI, and Justice Department prosecutors have disrupted the activities of a North Korean state-sponsored group deploying ransomware known as ‘Maui.’ Not only did this allow us to recover their ransom payment as well as a ransom paid by previously unknown victims, but we were also able to identify a previously unidentified ransomware strain.”
North Korea has been accused of masterminding a series of ransomware attacks on medical facilities. The cryptocurrencies raised are thought to be used to fund the state’s nuclear weapons program.
Pyongyang has also been linked to a number of social engineering incidents aimed at cryptocurrency companies, including the world-record Ronin hack in March.
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