Cryptocurrency Used to Fund North Korean Weapons Program, Says US Treasury

The US Treasury Department has just announced new sanctions against online criminal groups based in North Korea. The groups have reportedly conducted cryptocurrency ransomware attacks and other cyber crimes aimed at subverting international sanctions against the state.

The US Treasury believes these attacks are directly funding the North Korean missile programme. This presents those companies affected by ransomware with a tough choice – lose access to crucial data for good or fund a potentially dangerous nation’s military preparations.

North Korean Hackers Use Cryptocurrency to Fund Government Missile Programme

According to a press release published earlier today by the US Department of the Treasury, there are to be new sanctions against North Korean hackers groups believed to be funding the nation’s missile programme using various criminals means. This has included hacking of cryptocurrency exchanges and ransomware attacks.

The release names three such groups explicitly: “Lazarus Group,” “Bluenoroff,” and “Andariel”. It goes on to state that the agency believes these groups to be directly linked to the North Korean government.

From today, the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has officially banned dealings of US citizens or financial institutions with the groups mentioned.

Sigal Mandelker, Treasury Under