North Korea’s APT38 hacking group behind bank heists of over $100 million

Catalin Cimpanu reports:

According to a new report published today by US cyber-security firm FireEye, there’s a clear and visible distinction between North Korea’s hacking units –with two groups specialized in political cyber-espionage, and a third focused only in cyber-heists at banks and financial institutions.

For the past four years, ever since the Sony hack of 2014, when the world realized North Korea was a serious player on the cyber-espionage scene, all three groups have been incessantly covered by news media under the umbrella term of Lazarus Group.

But in a report released today, FireEye’s experts believe there should be made a clear distinction between the three groups, and especially between the ones focused on cyber-espionage (TEMP.Hermit and Lazarus Group), and the one focused on financial crime (APT38).

Read more on ZDNet.

I had the pleasure of attending FireEye’s Cyber Defense Summit this afternoon, where there was a presentation on Apt38 that was absolutely fascinating and well-presented. As Catalin reports, Apt38 doesn’t tend to go for “smash and grab” but the presentation made it clear how patient they were in terms of staying in the environment – in one case, for over 600 days.

Apt38 has hit financial institutions in 11 countries by now. After listening to FireEye’s presentation, it is hard to imagine how a small to medium-sized bank would be able to defend against or prevent an attack by these nation-state actors.

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