Symantec, internet security firm, published a new report revealing ridiculous new ambitions of North Korea and their affiliated hackers. Since they are not gaining any respect of power any other way, they have resorted to the plot of a B-list bank heist movie and are now trying to perform a world-wide bank heist.
There was an attack at the end of 2016 on 20 Polish banks and was obviously thwarted without any money being lost. Other institutions that they plan on unsuccessfully robbing are the World bank, Bank of America and European Central Bank. They did manage to get some money from Bangladesh, but out of the billion dollars in attempted hacking, only $81 million made it through. The technique North Korea used was called ‘watering hole’ hacking and it works by planting malware in areas that targets are most likely to visit. It’s sad that a country has to resort to these pathetic attempts at getting money since they can not earn their own.
An important point made by security analysts about these bank robberies is that huge amounts of manpower were involved, making state sponsorship of the attacks likely. The malware used in these assaults can lurk in targeted systems for weeks, going active during very limited windows of opportunity, so a large team of computer technicians has to work around the clock to supervise the intrusion.
Only one Chinese bank appeared in the target list distilled from captured viral code in Poland, a detail some analysts find significant. There are lingering suspicions that Chinese hackers assisted in pulling off the Bangladesh attack. This could become a major topic of conversation when Chinese president Xi Jinping meets with President Trump next month.