Cyber security firm: more evidence North Korea linked to Bangladesh heist

UNTV News   •   April 5, 2017   •   1712

Commuters walk in front of the Bangladesh central bank building in Dhaka, Bangladesh, September 30, 2016. REUTERS/Mohammad Ponir Hossain

Cyber security firm Kaspersky Lab on Monday said it had obtained digital evidence that bolsters suspicions by some researchers that North Korea was involved in last year’s $81 million cyber heist of the Bangladesh central bank’s account at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Russian-based Kaspersky released a 58-page report on Lazarus, a group linked to the heist in Bangladesh and the 2014 attack on Sony’s Hollywood studio, which the U.S. government blamed on North Korea.

Among its findings, the report said Lazarus hackers made a direct connection from an IP address in North Korea to a server in Europe that was used to control systems infected by the group.

Kaspersky researcher Vitaly Kamluk told Reuters by telephone that the finding marked “the first time we have seen a direct connection” between North Korea and Lazarus, a hacking group whose activities dating back to 2009 have been documented by the world’s biggest cyber security firms.

The North Korean government has denied allegations of hacking made by officials in Washington and South Korea as well as security firms.

Kamluk said he could not conclusively say that Pyongyang was behind the attacks because it was possible the hackers went to great effort to make it look like they were from North Korea, or that North Koreans were working with others.

Still, he said that North Korean involvement was the most likely explanation.

Separately last month, U.S. officials also cast suspicion on Pyongyang. An official briefed on the probe told Reuters in Washington that the FBI believed North Korea was responsible.

And Rick Ledgett, the deputy director of the National Security Agency, told reporters at an Aspen Institute event on March 15 that private sector research tying North Korea to the Bangladesh bank heist was strong.

“If that’s true, then that says to me that the North Koreans are robbing banks,” Ledgett said. “That’s a big deal.”

The Bangladesh Bank heist was one in a string of financially motivated cyber attacks by a division of Lazarus dubbed Bluenoroff, the Kaspersky report said. Targets included banks, financial and trading companies, casinos and digital currency businesses in at least 18 nations, the report said.

Adrian Nish, head of threat intelligence with cyber security firm BAE Systems PLC , said Kaspersky’s findings were significant, even though they did not conclusively link Pyongyang to Lazarus.

“It is significant further evidence,” said Nish, who led a team at BAE that in May 2016 was the first to link the Bangladesh heist and the Sony hack. — By Jim Finkle

(Reporting by Jim Finkle in Toronto; editing by Grant McCool)

Cyber security experts warn of ‘malicious’ greetings this holiday

Marje Pelayo   •   December 30, 2019

FILE PHOTO – A salesman checks a customer’s iPhone at a mobile phone store in New Delhi, India, July 27, 2016. REUTERS/Adnan Abidi/File photo

MANILA, Philippines – The Cyber Security Philippines-CERT warns Filipinos against opening suspicious greeting notifications on Facebook messenger this holiday.

According to cyber security experts, these messages usually direct users to malicious websites while accessing the users’ personal data.

Experts say it is better to confirm first with your friends, family or relatives if they indeed sent a message before opening it.

In the event of opening such malicious message, experts recommend to immediately change the passwords of your banking and social media accounts.

Philippine government and Bangladesh, no serious talks yet on money laundering issue – DFA

admin   •   March 18, 2016

FILE PHOTO: Department of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Charles Jose (UNTV News)

FILE PHOTO: Department of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Charles Jose (UNTV News)

MANILA, Philippines —
The Philippine government and Bangladesh has no communication yet regarding the $81 million-money laundering scandal.

According to Department of Foreign Affairs Spokesman Charles Jose, the only request of Bangladesh Embassy at the moment is assistance in facilitating their attendance to the Senate hearing.

“So far the only communication of Bangladesh embassy with the DFA was to request our assistance in facilitating their attendance in the senate hearing,” DFA Spokesperson ASec. Charles Jose said.

DFA has no details so far on who among the Bangladesh officials will be attending the Senate investigation.

In connection with this, Malacañang cannot give the Bangladesh government any assurance on the recovery of the millions stolen from their central bank.

According to Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda, they will wait first for the result of investigation taken by the appropriate authorities dealing with the money laundering activity.

“The matter is seriously being investigated by the appropriate authorities.”

Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Sonny Coloma said, the Palace will not interfere with the investigations of the Anti-Money Laundering Council and they will leave it up to the agency which is an independent body focusing on probing money laundering activities in the country.

“We gave no participation in their works as it is an independent agency,” Sec. Coloma said.



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