The FBI has a ‘wanted’ poster for a man that North Korea says he doesn’t exist
According to the North Korean authorities, the man charged with hacking Sony Pictures in 2014 is a “non-existent” individual and warned the US that their accusation could have a negative effect on relations between the two countries.
Park Jin-hyok was charged by the US Justice Department on 6 September for conspiring in “multiple destructive cyber-attacks around the world, including the 2014 attack on Sony Pictures and the attack on UK’s National Health Service in 2017.
Mr. Park was also added by the US Treasury Department on its list of sanctioned individuals.
Park Jin-hyok is linked to Lab 110, one of the North Korean government’s hacking organizations, also known as the Lazarus Group.
Companies and individual people must take certain precautions against this growing phenomenon of cyber attacks; for that they should implement at least a cybersecurity solution, like an antivirus, to protect their systems. Necessary things like regularly updating operating systems, using antivirus for Windows or antivirus for Mac depending on which OS your device is using.
Companies must also hire professional cybersecurity firms to do regular checkups to their internal network a couple of times per year. These checkups must always include a penetration test and various ethical hacking test.
North Korea is accused of hacking Sony Pictures in 2014 for releasing the film: The Interview which, among other things, contained a portrayal of a naked Kim Jong-un.
North Corea said Mr. Park “is a non-existent entity, and furthermore, the act of cyber crimes mentioned by the Justice Department has nothing to do with us”.
It also said the US was “misleading the public opinion… by forcibly linking the non-existent ‘offender’ and his so-called cyber crimes with our state organs”.
But despite the North Korean claims that Mr. Park does not exist, the FBI has circulated a wanted poster with a photograph of the man they wish to question.
North Korea retaliates back!
The North Korean Foreign Ministry also criticised America’s own actions in cyberspace, saying Washington has a long record of questionable behavior when it comes to hacking and espionage.
Most likely Mr. Park will never face justice in a US court. North Korea is the prime suspect for a number of malicious acts, including the theft of $81m from a Bangladesh bank, as well as attacks on South Korean virtual currency exchanges.
We would continue to monitor this problem. Meanwhile, users should keep a keen eye out for any cyber attacks. Remember to use an antivirus for Windows or antivirus for Mac in every device that you own, depending on which OS your machine is running, If you are a company we recommend to hire every year a specialized cybersecurity company that will run annual tests on your company’s network, tests like this include: penetration testing and ethical hacking.