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US charges North Korean in cyberattacks on Sony, other targets

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US charges North Korean in cyberattacks on Sony, other targets

The U.S. Department of Justice charged a North Korean citizen over his alleged involvement in malicious cyber activity including the WannaCry global ransomware attack in 2017 and the 2014 hack at Sony Pictures Entertainment.

In a June 8 criminal complaint made public Sept. 6, Park Jin Hyok is accused of being a member of a government-sponsored hacking team called the "Lazarus Group" and working for a North Korean government front company, Chosun Expo Joint Venture, to support North Korea's cyber actions. The complaint also alleges that Park was involved in the 2016 theft of $81 million from Bangladesh Bank.

"We stand with our partners to name the North Korean government as the force behind this destructive global cyber campaign," FBI Director Christopher Wray said in a statement. "This group's actions are particularly egregious as they targeted public and private industries worldwide — stealing millions of dollars, threatening to suppress free speech, and crippling hospital systems."

The Justice Department charged Park with one count of conspiracy to commit computer fraud and abuse and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Separately, the Treasury Department imposed sanctions on both Park and Chosun Expo Joint Venture.

"We will not allow North Korea to undermine global cybersecurity to advance its interests and generate illicit revenues in violation of our sanctions," said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

The Treasury Department alleged that Park and his co-conspirators also operated from China to carry out the cyberattacks.