North Korea: We’ve Hacked Online Poker Sites

hackersIf you’ve ever wondered how North Korean dictator Kim Jon Ung manages to fund his nuclear program, you may be surprised to learn that he has some of his best cyber hackers sitting day and night in an attempt to steal money from online sources. South Korea’s Financial Security Institute recently released a report showing that the manic dictator sponsors computer experts to cheat online poker sites, among other sources.

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With international sanctions now threatening North Korea’s advancement in the nuclear race, the leader seems to be focusing on grabbing money illegally and is upping the ante on cybercrime. These state sponsored criminals use stolen bank cards and identity theft, while also inserting malware to cheat online poker and other online gambling sites.

An article in the New York Times last week highlighted the profit center that North Korea has become in the hacking “industry”. The article quoted the Financial Security Institute as saying that in the last few years, “North Korean hackers seem to have become more interested in stealing cash.”

“North Korea is now believed to have 1,700 state-sponsored hackers, aided by more than 5,000 supervisors, trainers and other support staff, South Korean officials estimate,” notes the New York Times. “The hackers typically do their work abroad, taking legitimate software programming or other jobs in China, Southeast Asia or Europe and waiting for instructions from Pyongyang to mount an assault, they said.”

North Korea is believed to be behind a number of mega-cyber attacks in recent years, including the recent digital theft of $81 million from Bangladesh’s central bank, as well as a 2014 attack on computers at Sony Pictures Entertainment.

While in past years, the North Koreans were interested in causing destruction to the sites they hacked, today they are more keen to make a profit from their escapades as they are in dire need of cash.

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