Justice Department charges North Korean programmer in WannaCry ransomware attacks

The Department of Justice on Sept. 6 said it was charging a North Korean programmer in the 2017 "WannaCry" ransomware attack and two other high-profile hacks dating as far back as 2014, The Hill reports.

DOJ alleged a man named Park Jin Hyok worked on behalf of the North Korean government to carry out the attacks, which include the 2014 Sony hack and a 2016 theft from the Bangladesh Bank. He is also reportedly linked to the Lazarus Group, which has been tied to the Bangladesh Bank and WannaCry incidents.

Prosecutors charged Mr. Park with several crimes, including hacking, conspiracy and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

"These activities run afoul of norms of acceptable safe behavior in cyberspace and the international community must address them when we can," Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Demers said, adding that the charges "reflect the department's determination and ability to follow the facts and the law and to hold individuals and nations accountable for their crimes."

WannaCry rocked the world in May 2017, infecting global giants like FedEx and bringing down operations at least 16 of the U.K. National Health Service's facilities. Hackers requested at least $300 in bitcoin to decrypt victims' files, and later, they cashed out more that $143,000 from online wallets associated with the hacks.

Several organizations, including Microsoft and the U.K.'s National Audit Office, have previously blamed North Korea for the attacks.

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