North Korean hackers of the criminal syndicate Lazarus Group are targeting crypto companies in Japan, according to the National Police Agency (NPA). Local reports detail that this is the fifth time the NPA has linked a North Korean cybercriminal organization with “official attribution.”
Japanese law enforcement and financial regulators warn
against attacks by the Lazarus group.
Hackers from the notorious criminal organization Lazarus Group are reportedly targeting Japanese crypto companies, according to a recently releasedNPA Cyber Security Report. . Authorities applied a “public attribution” to the suspect, noting that the hacker was likely from North Korea and a member of the Lazarus gang of cyber criminals.
The National Police Agency called Lazarus “a subordinate organization of the North Korean authorities” and said that recent cyber attacks have targeted “crypto-asset related companies.” The Japanese National Police Agency also noted that U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) law enforcement officials have issued similar warnings about the Lazarus Group’s specific attack methods.
The NPA detailed that hackers send “phishing emails of employees posing as executives of the target company” and also “approach employees of the target company” under the guise of “fake accounts.” Japanese news outlet Japan Newsdetailed that this is the fifth time Japanese authorities have warned about the notorious Lazarus Group.
The report notes that the National Police Agency has not disclosed any specific cases related to Lazarus. However, the Japan News report states that sources familiar with the matter believe Lazarus was involved in the 2018 Zaif hack and the 2019 Bitpoint Japan hack.
A National Police Agency notice warns about involvement with suspicious phishing emails and suspicious individuals using disguises. Katsuyuki Okamoto of information security firm Trend Micro said the warning, issued by the National Police Agency in collaboration with the Financial Services Agency, has been helpful by alerting people to the issue.
Okamoto said in a statement Saturday that “it is important to be involved in public attribution to raise public awareness of the perpetrators’ tactics and encourage countermeasures.”
The latest notification from Japan’s National Police Agency and Financial Services Agency follows North Korea’s launch of a ballistic missile over Japan in the first week of October. The last time Pyongyang fired a missile over Japan was five years ago in 2017. Tensions between the two countries have been on the rise since North Korea’s recent missile provocation over Aomori Prefecture.
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