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North Korean charged in cyberattacks

Friday, September 7, 2018

Associated Press

LOS ANGELES

A computer programmer working for the North Korean government was charged with devastating cyberattacks that hacked Sony Pictures Entertainment and unleashed the WannaCry ransomware virus that infected computers in 150 countries and crippled parts of the British health care system, federal prosecutors said Thursday.

Park Jin Hyok, who is believed to be in North Korea, conspired to conduct a series of attacks that also stole $81 million from a bank in Bangladesh, according to charges unsealed in Los Angeles federal court after years of investigation.

The U.S. believes he was working for a North Korean-sponsored hacking organization.

The U.S. government previously said North Korea was responsible for the 2014 Sony hack that led to the release of a trove of sensitive personal information about employees, including Social Security numbers, financial records, salary information, as well as embarrassing emails among top executives.

The hack included four yet-to-be-released Sony films, among them “Annie,” and one that was in theaters, the Brad Pitt film “Fury,” and cost the company tens of millions of dollars.