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DOJ Charges Three North Korean Military Programmers For Sony Hack, Sweeping Cybercrimes In Expanded Indictment – Deadline

Posted by Security Systems

A federal indictment unsealed today charges three North Korean computer programmers with a wide-ranging criminal conspiracy of destructive cyberattacks including of Sony Pictures Entertainment, AMC Theatres and Mammoth Screen.

The list of crimes cited by the Department of Justice includes the cyberattack on Sony Pictures Entertainment in November of 2014 in retaliation for The Interview, a movie that depicted the fictional assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un; the December 2014 targeting of AMC Theatres, which was scheduled to show the film; and a 2015 intrusion into Mammoth Screen, which was producing a fictional series involving a British nuclear scientist taken prisoner in DPRK.

The indictment, filed in the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, alleges that Jon Chang Hyok, Kim Il and Park Jin Hyok were members of units of the Reconnaissance General Bureau (RGB) — a military intelligence agency of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) — engaged in criminal hacking. Park was previously charged in a criminal complaint involving the Sony hack unsealed in September, 2018.

The trio’s other alleged crimes include stealing and extorting more than $1.3 billion of money and cryptocurrency from financial institutions and companies; creating and deploying multiple malicious cryptocurrency applications; and developing and fraudulently marketing a blockchain platform.

“As laid out in today’s indictment, North Korea’s operatives, using keyboards rather than guns, stealing digital wallets of cryptocurrency instead of sacks of cash, are the world’s leading bank robbers,” said Assistant Attorney General John C. Demers of
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