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(LEAD) U.S. sanctions 3 state-sponsored N.K. hacking groups

All Headlines 00:12 September 14, 2019

(ATTN: UPDATES with details, ADDS photo)
By Lee Haye-ah

WASHINGTON, Sept. 13 (Yonhap) -- The United States on Friday sanctioned three entities it accused of conducting cyber attacks on behalf of the North Korean government to generate revenue for the regime's nuclear and missile programs.

The Department of the Treasury said the new measures target Lazarus Group, Bluenoroff, and Andariel, all of which are controlled by the Reconnaissance General Bureau, North Korea's primary intelligence bureau.

Lazarus Group's activities were widely reported after it was blamed for the 2014 cyber attack of Sony Pictures Entertainment and the 2017 WannaCry ransomware attack on countries including the U.S. and Britain.

Bluenoroff and Andariel, the Treasury said, are sub-groups of Lazarus Group.

"Treasury is taking action against North Korean hacking groups that have been perpetrating cyber attacks to support illicit weapon and missile programs," Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Sigal Mandelker said in a statement.

"We will continue to enforce existing U.S. and UN sanctions against North Korea and work with the international community to improve cybersecurity of financial networks," she said.

The sanctions freeze all of the entities' property and interests in the U.S., as well as those of other entities that are owned 50 percent or more by the three groups.

The latest measures come as denuclearization negotiations between the U.S. and North Korea remain deadlocked due to Washington's insistence on Pyongyang's complete denuclearization and the North's demands for sanctions relief and security guarantees.

This file photo shows the U.S. Department of the Treasury in Washington. (Yonhap)


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