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US charges 3 North Korean officials with stealing cryptocurrencies

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US charges 3 North Korean officials with stealing cryptocurrencies | The Thaiger
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The US Justice Department is accusing North Korea of stealing crypto and traditional currencies and is charging 3 military intelligence officials with the alleged crime. President Joe Biden is calling the incident a “global campaign of criminality.”

The accusations include hacking and malware operation cyberattacks to steal $1.3 billion US dollars from banks and other institutions. The actions were allegedly under the radar to avoid UN sanctions that have cut off sources of the government’s income.

The US government says the stealing occurred over the last 7 years as the 3 officials allegedly created malicious cryptocurrency applications, hacking into the marketing and trading companies that include bitcoin. The case has been filed in the Los Angeles’ federal court and is built on the 2018 charges against 1 of the 3 officials, named Park Jin Hyok.

Hyok was accused in 2018, before the other defendants were identified, for allegedly stealing $6.1 million from Pakistan’s Bank Islami ATM machines after gaining access to its computer systems. Now the US government says all 3 worked together in that instance.

Hyok was also charged in 2014 with hacking Sony pictures, creating the WannaCry ransomware as well as the theft of $81 million US dollars from Bangladesh’s central bank.

Jon Chang Hyok and Kim Il join Park Jin Hyok in being accused of working together in the Reconnaissance General Bureau, which is known within the cybersecurity community as the Lazarus Group, or APT 38.

The 3 allegedly operated out of North Korea, Russia and China to hack computers that allowed them to empty victims’ crypto wallets. They also allegedly robbed digital currency exchanges in Slovenia and Indonesia and extorted a New York exchange of $11.8 million US dollars.

Kim Il has also been accused of developing the blockchain-based digital currency-like “Marine Chain Token” which was used as a fake instrument for investors to buy shares of shipping vessels. He is accused of not telling potential investors that it was designed to hide ship ownership identities to help North Korea avoid sanctions.

Assistant Attorney General John Demers says North Korea used keyboards rather than guns to steal cryptocurrency over bags of cash.

“Nation-state indictments like this are an important step in identifying the problem, calling it out in a legally rigorous format, and building international consensus.”

The case is the first open action taken against North Korea by the Biden administration, amid ongoing tensions over Pyongyang’s development of nuclear weapons and long-range missiles that could be dangerous to the United States and allies.

State Department spokesman Ned Price said the administration is “reviewing policy toward the country.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Geoff

    Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 5:27 pm

    Good hackers aren’t they? The US I mean. They can name names, dates, have photos of individuals and still complain about others doing the same thing.

  2. Avatar

    James Pate

    Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 7:23 pm

    Fortunately, I think we’ll be seeing the US stepping up its game in cyber warfare. I look forward to reading more.

    • Avatar

      Slugger

      Saturday, February 20, 2021 at 11:35 am

      Hypocrites. For every arrest there’ll be two dozen get away with it.

  3. Avatar

    Dreqo

    Friday, February 19, 2021 at 5:39 pm

    President Joe Biden is calling the incident a “global campaign of criminality.”
    Haha, indeeed.

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Ann Carter is an award-winning journalist from the United States with over 12 years experience in print and broadcast news. Her work has been featured in America, China and Thailand as she has worked internationally at major news stations as a writer and producer. Carter graduated from the Walter Williams Missouri School of Journalism in the USA.

Crime

Bangkok police raid house where model died after playing hostess

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Bangkok police raid house where model died after playing hostess | The Thaiger

Bangkok police are investigating a model’s death after raiding a Chatuchak district house where the model died after being hired as a hostess. The model, Whitchayaporn ‘Wa’ Visessombut, was hired along with other women to serve drinks and entertain guests at a private residence last Monday. Then, the next day, she died of respiratory failure after being brought unconscious to Paolo Hospital Kaset.

Investigators say they obtained a text chat history between the 33 year old model and her agent the day she was hired for the job. The chats revealed a receipt for a 30,000 baht money transfer to 4 hostesses, including Whitchayaporn, for their work. 6 other hostesses from a different agency were also hired to work the party.

Police say between 5 and 7 men were at the party along with 10 women with the use of drugs allegedly being involved.

Upon raiding the 4 storey‐high home, investigators say it featured an “unusually high wall” which stood about 2.5 metres tall. The house had security cameras but no one was home at the time of the raid. Officers say a luxury car was parked at the residence along with a BMW motorcycle.

Police say they are still are waiting for the autopsy results of the dead woman. Her relatives have already begun seeking assistance as they are afraid her case could turn out to be as complicated as that of model Thitima ‘Lunlabelle’ Noraphanpiphat, who was found dead in a similar situation back in 2019.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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Crime

Thai man accidentally kills himself with homemade bomb

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Thai man accidentally kills himself with homemade bomb | The Thaiger

A young Thai man has accidentally killed himself with a homemade bomb in the Muang district of Kanchanaburi province this morning. 22 year old Amornthep Thongchomphu was found dead with his arm blown off after the bomb exploded in a field near his home.

Local police went to the scene at about 11am, outside the man’s house in Ban Nong Kung village of tambon Ban Thum. Police found the man’s dead body along with a scorched, ruptured PVC pipe. Village headman Boonruam Somwongsa says Amornthap stayed alone in the house as his mother worked abroad, sending home money. He was apparently jobless and was not known to socialise.

Boonruam says the man allegedly had a dispute with a neighbour previously and on 2 occasions had thrown a small bomb at his neighbour’s house, leading him to file a complaint. Boonruam says it was likely that Amornthep was making another bomb to throw at his neighbour when it accidentally detonated.

The Ban Ped police chief says another small homemade bomb was found at Amornthep’s house, with its components being possibly bought from online.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Crime

Motorbike taxi attacked tourist in Pattaya because he was annoyed

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Motorbike taxi attacked tourist in Pattaya because he was annoyed | The Thaiger

A Pattaya motorbike taxi driver is saying he was annoyed when he attacked a Chilean man out of nowhereearly yesterday morning. Amorn “Jeab” Boonmee was arrested after confessing to allegedly slapping and kicking 24 year old Salvatore Andres Castromedina, breaking his nose. According Khaosod English, Amorn says he acted in a “blind moment of fury” because he was annoyed by the man.

“I apologize. I was annoyed at the tourist who came up to speak to me and I didn’t understand what he was saying. He wouldn’t go when I told him to. I’m someone who gets annoyed easily, especially at people who talk a lot.”

Amorn allegedly attacked the man on Pattaya’s famous Walking Street at about 2am on Thursday with CCTV capturing the alleged incident.

Police say the incident has damaged Pattaya and Thailand’s overall image as well as its tourism. Investigators say they are waiting for a full medical report of Castromedina’s injuries before deciding what charges to bring upon Amorn.

According to Khaosod English, Castromedina said via an interpreter that this was his first time in Thailand. He went on to explain that he was asking the taxi driver for a ride to Soi Buakhao before being attacked.

According to Khaosod English, another motorbike taxi driver was seen in the CCTV footage. 45 year old Rittisak Kulsumaso says he tried to stop Amorn from attacking Castromedina.

“I really didn’t want this to happen. It’s already hard to make money. [Castromedina] had also been drinking alcohol.”

Rittisak says he is the one who took Castromedina to the police station to file a report. He also says he turned himself in after the incident took place. Castromedina was sent to the hospital after the attack for medical treatment. According to Khaosod English, a picture shows police officers giving Castromedina a basket of chicken essence soup, wishing him a speedy recovery.

SOURCE: Khaosod English

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