The Korea Herald

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S. Korea, US issue warning about N. Korea hacking group

By Choi Si-young

Published : June 2, 2023 - 06:01

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South Korea and the US issued a warning about a state-backed North Korean hacking group in a joint statement Friday, with Seoul slapping a ban on the group -- the first time for any single country to do so.

The group Kimsuky is known for collecting intelligence on national security and foreign policy issues involving the Korean Peninsula from individuals and institutions, and has been providing such intelligence to the North while helping the isolated country to develop what it claims are “satellites,” the two allies said in the statement, suggesting the satellites are a cover for missile tests.

The group steals space and weapons technologies to aid the regime as it continues to defy international sanctions on its nuclear and missile programs, according to the statement.

The latest move comes two days after North Korea fired what it says is a space satellite, a launch Seoul and Washington believe was intended to advance its ballistic missile technology. Pyongyang, banned under United Nations Security Council resolutions from using such technology, is currently planning a second launch following Wednesday’s attempt that ended in failure.

South Korea and the US, which last week conducted their largest-ever joint live-fire drills, say Pyongyang would “pay the price” for carrying on with its “provocation.” The North contends satellite launches are meant to monitor US military activities, as part of its right to self-defense.

Also last week, Seoul and Washington announced fresh sanctions on North Korean information technology workers and groups believed to be bankrolling the regime’s nuclear and missile programs. South Korea singled out seven North Koreans and three entities, saying the individuals oversaw those workers earning and laundering money.