A criminal complaint was unsealed today charging Park Jin Hyok, a North Korean citizen, for his involvement in a conspiracy to conduct multiple destructive cyberattacks around the world resulting in damage to massive amounts of computer hardware, and the extensive loss of data, money and other resources.
The complaint alleges that Park was a member of a government-sponsored hacking team known to the private sector as the “Lazarus Group,” and worked for a North Korean government front company, Chosun Expo Joint Venture, to support the DPRK government’s malicious cyber actions.
The conspiracy’s malicious activities include the creation of the malware used in the 2017 WannaCry 2.0 global ransomware attack; the 2016 theft of $81 million from Bangladesh Bank; the 2014 attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment; and numerous other attacks or intrusions on the entertainment, financial services, defense, technology, and virtual currency industries, academia, and electric utilities.
In addition to these criminal charges, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced today that the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated Park and KEJV under Executive Order 13722 based on the malicious cyber and cyber-enabled activity outlined in the criminal complaint.
Park is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit computer fraud and abuse, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison, and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.