North Korea initiates ‘Operation Sharpshooter’ Cyber Attack Espionage Campaign

Lazarus Group also is known as Hidden Cobra in the dark world is said to have launched a global cyber-espionage campaign with the name ‘Operation Sharpshooter’. Researchers from the privately held American Cybersecurity firm McAfee were the first one to discover this spying campaign in Dec’18 who later came to a conclusion that the cyber attack campaign began as early as September 2017.

Information is out that McAfee researchers got the rare opportunity to examine the code and data of the command and control servers responsible for the campaign in Dec’18 and the opportunity was handed over to them by a government entity closely linked to a senior official from White House.

“Getting access to the data related to the system insights of the inner workings of cyber attack infrastructure is rare for private companies, as only the law enforcement has the authority to do so”, said Christian Beek, Senior Engineer, and Principal Scientist, McAfee.

And McAfee feels elated to reveal the study findings to the world which could put all nations on cyber alert. The analysis says that the campaign’s attack technique used in the Sharpshooter attack can be attributed to the Lazarus group due to the attack similarities observed in the 2016 Sony hack and the Wannacry ransomware spread in May 2017.

Currently, the cyber crooks who are behind the campaign are interested in targeting financial services, government and critical infrastructure and nations like Germany, Turkey, Britain, and the US have been put on high alert.

Note 1- Researchers from Santa Clara firm say that there is evidence that the same hacking group which is being run by Kim Jong UN-led military intelligence previously targeted telecommunications, government and financial sectors hailing from US, Switzerland, Israel, and others.

Note 2- Park Jin Hyok, the owner of Lazarus Group is now a wanted criminal of US FBI and is said to be linked to a number of Internationally acclaimed and costliest computer intrusions in the history including Sony Pictures hack and Wannacry attack.

Note 3-Mr. Hyok is reported to be a highly acclaimed graduate from Kim Chaek University of Technology in Pyongyang, North Korea.

Naveen Goud
Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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