Bitcoin rose to an all-time high on Tuesday, hitting the $ 50,000 milestone at $ 50.602.
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Federal authorities announced Wednesday that three North Korean computer programmers were charged with carrying out a series of cyber attacks to steal and extort more than $ 1.3 billion in cash and cryptocurrency from financial institutions and corporations.
The programmers are also accused of “creating and deploying several malicious cryptocurrency applications and developing and fraudulently marketing a blockchain platform,” according to a press release from the Justice Department.
At the same time, the authorities announced that a Canadian-American citizen had agreed to plead guilty under a money laundering system and admitted that they had helped the accused North Koreans “pay off” their “cyber-enabled bank robbery”.
According to official sources, the charges brought on Wednesday augment a 2018 case detailing the cyberattack on Sony Pictures and the creation of the ransomware known as WannaCry.
“North Korea’s employees, who use keyboards instead of guns and steal cryptocurrency digital wallets instead of moneybags, are the world’s leading bank robbers,” said John Demers, Assistant Attorney General of the Department of Justice’s National Security Division.
Tracy Wilkinson, the acting US attorney for the Central District of California, said, “The scope of criminal behavior by North Korean hackers has been extensive and protracted, and the range of crimes they have committed is staggering.”
Wilkinson also said, “The conduct described in the indictment is the act of a criminal nation-state that has stopped at nothing to seek revenge and receive money to prop up its regime.”
The charges in the US District Court in Los Angeles against Jon Chang, 31, Kim Il, 27, and Park Jin Hyo, 36, were members of units of the Reconnaissance General Bureau, a North Korean military intelligence agency dealing with hacking criminal offenses. Authorities found that Park had previously been charged in the September 2018 criminal complaint.
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