The Justice Department building in Washington, D.C. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg News By Robert McMillan Close Robert McMillan
The U.S. Justice Department on Wednesday charged two North Koreans in connection with a long-running hacking campaign in which they are accused of attempting to steal more than $1.3 billion over the past half-decade.
Jon Chang Hyok and Kim Il were indicted in December 2020 on a range of hacking charges, according to court documents unsealed Wednesday. A third man, Park Jin Hyok is also named in the indictment. Mr. Park had been previously charged in September 2018.
The North Koreans are unlikely to be arrested, but the charges are part of an ongoing campaign by U.S. authorities to pressure North Korea and the entities that work with it over the long-running cyber campaign.
U.S. authorities say that North Korean hackers have run a wide range of illegal money making schemes over the past decade including cyber-intrusions at financial institutions, ransomware infections, phishing attacks on corporations, and even fraudulent cryptocurrency offerings. North Korea has denied engaging in hacking.
“Simply put, the regime has become a criminal syndicate with a flag,” the head of the Justice Department’s national security division, John Demers, said Wednesday in announcing the case.
The Justice Department said that a Canadian, Ghaleb Alaumary, had pleaded guilty to helping the North Korean hackers launder money obtained during the campaign. Mr. Alaumary couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.
North Korea Hacking
Corrections & Amplifications
Park Jin Hyok had been previously charged in September 2018. An earlier version of this article incorrectly said Mr. Park had been charged in December 2018. (Corrected on Feb. 17, 2021)
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