North Korea uses Facebook to hack private computers, analyst says

SEOUL, July 20 (UPI) — North Korea keeps finding new ways to hack into private computers and the state’s hackers appear to have found a new playground: Facebook.

According to the National Internet Development Agency of Korea in Seoul, North Korean agents are setting up profiles that often include photos of attractive young women. Through the accounts, agents send friend requests to unsuspecting South Korean government employees, Yonhap reported.

“We recently discovered a new North Korea cyberattack method that involves the transmission of online friend requests from profiles that include photos of beautiful women on Facebook and other social network sites, in order [for the agents] to gain access to government and public sector employees,” said Shin Dae-gyu, the director of KISA.

Shin also said analysis of North Korea’s cyberterror networks shows there are at least three organizations in operation.

The groups used to run separately but recently they have joined forces for large-scale attacks, Shin said.

When North Korea isn’t launching massive Distributed Denial of Service attacks, their hackers are diligently working away at finding other methods of infiltrating South Korean institutions.

“North Korea’s methods are quickly diversifying,” Shin said, and added the latest cyber-terrorism techniques include the deployment of “ransomware.”

Ransomware is a type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer system – until a sum of money is paid to the attacker.

In early July, South Korea’s Defense Security Command had said Pyongyang has grown an army of more than 6,000 hackers and the country runs gambling and other sites that earn more than $800 million.

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