Now, it is important to note, that it is possible that North Korea was framed, with the attackers leaving behind purportedly solid evidence in order to mislead investigators. But, according to the majority of cybersecurity experts, it is almost certain that North Korea was behind the attacks. And, it wasn't just attacks on financial institutions, they were also revealed to be responsible for many cyber terrorism and cyber espionage campaigns against the South Korean government and various South Korean infrastructures. Then there's the Sony Pictures hack of 2014.
One of the biggest corporate breaches in history. Lazarus had taken great exception to the plot of the film 'The Interview', where the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, was targeted for assassination by the CIA. Cinemas across the US were threatened with terrorist attacks if the film wasn't pulled. North Korea, of course, denied any responsibility. But, it seemed fairly obvious that this group was actively targeting known enemies of the State.
Now, as for Lazarus' banking exploits, like the Bangladesh incident, the attacks were just the start. They had to ensure the money would then get to the intended location. And, the way they did that was to have the stolen funds moved through places like Macau, which in particular, is known to be North Korea's financial point of contact with the outside world. We know, thanks to the two Chinese middlemen, that that's exactly where the Bangladesh funds ended up. And, from there, it wouldn't have been hard for the money to be wired directly to Pyongyang.
Proceeds would then have likely gone towards advancing their nuclear program, funding the lifestyles of the elite, and propping up their economy. All this, quite possibly representing, a significant percentage of the country's current GDP. If this is all accurate, and North Korea is indeed behind these attacks, the international implications would be profound.
Especially with the recent developments. As this would be the first known case of a nation state robbing banks. From there, perhaps, anything is possible.
They could hack political campaigns, weapons systems, civilian bank accounts, or even YouTube accounts who have made content they may find unfavorable. Oh crap. Actually, that's okay because I have Dashlane.
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