According to the National Police Agency (NPA) in Japan, North Korean hackers from the Lazarus Group crime organization have targeted crypto companies in the country. Local reports detail that this is the fifth time the NPA has attached “attribution” to North Korea’s cybercrime organization.
Japan’s financial regulator and law enforcement agency warns against attacks by Lazarus Group
Hackers from the notorious crime syndicate Lazarus Group are said to be targeting crypto companies in Japan, according to a recently published NPA cybersecurity report. Officials applied “publicity” to the suspects and noted that the hackers were from North Korea and most likely members of the Lazarus cybercrime gang.
The NPA called Lazarus “a subordinate organization of the North Korean government” and said recent cyberattacks are “targeting businesses related to crypto assets.” Japan’s NPA also noted that law enforcement officials from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had sent out similar warnings about specific Lazarus Group attack methods.
The NPA detailed that hackers sent “employee fraud emails pretending to be executives of the target company” and that they also “reached employees of the target company” under the guise of “fake accounts”. Japan News organization detailed information that this is the fifth time Japanese authorities have warned about the infamous Lazarus Group.
The report notes that the NPA has not disclosed any specific cases related to Lazarus. However, a report by Japan News says that sources familiar with the matter believe Lazarus is responsible for the Zaif hack in 2018 and the Bitpoint Japan hack in 2019.
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The NPA notice warns about interacting with suspicious phishing emails and shady characters using disguises. An executive from information security firm Trend Micro, Katsuyuki Okamoto, said the NPA’s joint warning with the Financial Services Authority (FSA) was helpful by drawing attention to the issue.
Okamoto said in a statement on Saturday: “It is important to participate in the attribution as it will raise public awareness of the perpetrators’ tricks and remind people to take measures. .
The latest announcement from Japan’s NPA and FSA comes after North Korea fired a ballistic missile at the country in the first week of October. The last time Pyongyang fired a missile at Japan was five years ago. in 2017. Tensions between the two countries have been running high since North Korea’s recent missile provocation against Aomori Prefecture.