Date
22 September 2017
Cyber security researchers have found evidence they said could link North Korea with the WannaCry attack. Photo: Reuters
Cyber security researchers have found evidence they said could link North Korea with the WannaCry attack. Photo: Reuters

North Korea sanctions monitors hit by ‘sustained’ cyber attack

United Nations experts investigating violations of sanctions on North Korea have suffered a “sustained” cyber attack by unknown hackers with “very detailed insight” into their work, Reuters reports.

The hackers eventually breached the computer of one of the experts on May 8, the chair of the panel of experts wrote in an email to UN officials and the UN Security Council’s North Korea sanctions committee, known as the 1718 committee.

“The zip file was sent with a highly personalized message which shows the hackers have very detailed insight into the panel’s current investigations structure and working methods,” read the email, which was sent on May 8.

“As a number of 1718 committee members were targeted in a similar fashion in 2016, I am writing to you all to alert you to this heightened risk,” the chair of the panel of experts wrote, describing the attack as part of a “sustained cyber campaign.”

A spokesman for the Italian mission to the United Nations, which chairs the 1718 sanctions committee, said on Friday that a member of the panel of experts had been hacked.

No further details who might be responsible were immediately available.

North Korea’s deputy United Nations envoy said on Friday “it is ridiculous” to link Pyongyang with the hacking of the UN panel of experts or the WannaCry “ransomware” cyber attack that started to sweep around the globe more than a week ago.

Cyber security researchers have found technical evidence they said could link North Korea with the WannaCry attack.

Reuters reported on Sunday that North Korea’s main spy agency has a special cell called Unit 180 that is likely to have launched some of its most daring and successful cyber attacks, according to defectors, officials and internet security experts.

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