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New virus emerges from shadowy North Korean ‘Lazarus’ group

Sam Webb

The North Korean cyberwarfare team known as Lazarus is believed to be behind a newly detected piece of cryptocurrency malware.

Security researcher and MacOS hacker Patrick Wardle analysed the malware unveiled by fellow researcher Dinesh Devadoss and determined that “there are some clear overlaps” with a similar bug from the Lazarus group discovered two months ago.

The sophisticated malware is very hard to detect and goes by the name UnionCryptoTrader.

North Korea is attempting to exploit cryptocurrencies to get around US sanctions, and hackers from the country are believed to be behind a rash of crypto crimes.

Since the beginning of 2019, North Korean agents have reportedly attempted five major cyber-thefts worldwide, including a successful $49 million theft from an institution in Kuwait.

Kim Jong-un’s regime recently angrily denied North Korea has been using an army of hackers to siphon off $2 billion from the world’s crypto exchanges and banks.

Officials from the sanctions committee of the United Nations Security Council accused the brutal dictatorship of the mass theft of huge sums of cryptocurrency, claiming the hacks were designed to fund tyrant Kim Jong-un’s nuclear weapons programme.

According to a Coin Rivet article for the Daily Express, Pyongyang’s state-governed propaganda network – the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) – has hit back, branding the UN’s startling accusation as a “nasty game” and even comparing it to Nazi propaganda.

“The United States and other hostile forces are now spreading ill-hearted rumours that we have illegally forced the transfer of two billion US dollars needed for the development of WMD programs by involving cyber actors,” said the KCNA.

“The question being raised is on such fabricated information, unreasonably accusing us with no scientific ground, reflected even in the Midterm Report of the Panel of Experts of the Sanctions Committee against the DPRK, the UN Security Council, which we have never ever recognised.”

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