There has been a good amount of controversy surrounding North Korea and cryptocurrency as it is believed that the country is sponsoring a group of hackers whose job it is to steal cryptocurrency from individuals and crypto exchanges. The stolen crypto is allegedly used to fund the countries nuclear program and this is due to sanctions that have been placed against them by the United States. While the country has repeatedly denied that any such group of hackers exist and that they are stealing cryptocurrency for this purpose, the accusations have continued over the years.
It has now been reported that this group of hackers, called the Lazarus group, have developed brand new malware for the stealing of cryptocurrency.
According to January 8, 2020 reports by Kaspersky, the hacker group has developed new malware and is targeting both Mac and Windows computer users. Previously, the group has been using an open-source cryptocurrency trading service called QtBitcoinTrader which would launch a code called ‘Operation AppleJeus’ and this was reported in August 2018. However, it seems some changes have been made to the interface.
According to reports, a new macOS and windows virus has been detected which is called UnionCryptoTrader and is based on previously detected versions. Another Mac virus has also been detected which is called MarkMakingBot and according to the reports, significant changes have been made to the malware and it is in what is likely the intermediary stage of changes. This malware is believed to be purported via Telegram as there is a Telegram group on the fake website for the program.
The virus targets windows users and launches a fake Internet explorer and then carries out the hacker’s commands.
“We believe the Lazarus group’s continuous attacks for financial gain are unlikely to stop anytime soon. […] We assume this kind of attack on cryptocurrency businesses will continue and become more sophisticated,” the report says.
All things being considered, it seems the Lazarus group only intends to expand on their efforts thus far as it was reported only a few years ago that they had stolen up to $571 million in the year 2017 alone.