The Justice Department charged North Korean hacker Park Jin-hyok for his alleged role in the 2017 WannaCry ransomware attack, the 2016 attack on a Bangladeshi bank, and the 2014 hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment. The 2017 attack paralyzed computers across the globe, demanding money in exchange for un-encrypting files on hacked computers. The 2016 attack stole $81 million. The 2014 attack wiped out 70 percent of Sony’s computer capabilities, forced thousands of employees to see a picture of their studio chief with a severed head, and released sensitive internal documents that caused a top film executive to lose her job. That attack was launched in retaliation to Sony’s film The Interview, which mocked dictator Kim Jong-un. The New York Times reports that the United States has been attempting to indict Jin Hyok for a long time, but an indictment proved difficult to secure because so much of the evidence against him was classified. Both attacks are believed to have originated with the Reconnaissance General Bureau, a North Korean spy agency. On the same day, the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control sanctioned Jin Hyok “for having engaged in significant activities undermining cybersecurity through the use of computer networks or systems.” In a Thursday press conference, officials said Park is a “fugitive from justice,” and his last known whereabouts were in North Korea.
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