United States charges North Korean spy over NHS cyber attack

The Wanna Cry attack which hit the NHS last year has been blamed on North Korea

The charges, part of a strategy by the USA government to deter future cyberattacks by naming and shaming the alleged perpetrators, will also allege that the North Korean hacker broke into the central bank of Bangladesh in 2016, according to the official.

Activity from Park's real-name Chosun Expo account and numerous accounts tied to Lazarus Group activity originated from the same Internet addresses in North Korea.

Park, who USA officials believe is now in North Korea, faces charges that include conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

A North Korean man has been identified as part of a group that hacked the NHS, as well as allegedly being responsible for hacks on Sony Pictures and the theft of $81m (£62m) from a bank.

North Korea has been linked to some of the most high-profile cyberattacks in recent years, and its hack on Sony Pictures Entertainment lead the Obama administration to impose economic sanctionsagainst the country's government agencies and senior officials.

Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Demers described the probe as one of the lengthiest and thorough cyber investigations in the division's history. The malicious links carried North Korean-controlled malware.

The hackers stole a cache of emails, which were later publicly released to the embarrassment of studio executives. Copies of upcoming movies, including The Interview, were also placed online. In 2016, hackers breached the Bangladesh Bank's servers and made off with $81 million.

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The indictment alleges that Park took part in these attacks, as well as attacks on including US defense contractors, university faculty, technology companies, virtual currency exchanges, and USA electric utilities, as well as attempted financial institution attacks over the past four years.

Park was specifically linked to the attacks through email accounts at Chosun Export under his own name to create social media accounts and to subscribe to services used in the attacks.

North Korea has denied the allegations.

The affidavit goes into extensive detail over how the attacks were tracked back through server logs and other electronic piece of evidence. Investigators discovered his CV and tracked his activities.

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

"We have a long memory and are fully prepared for the day when he will be arrested", said a DoJ representative, adding: "It is one thing to name a group and quite another to say we know who did it and name them".

The complaint was filed under seal on June 8, just days before a historic summit in Singapore between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. "Thank you to Chairman Kim. We will get it done together!"

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