North Korean cyber attacks income and free VPN data breach

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According to a report published by Japanese news resource Nikkei, it has been revealed that the North Korean government is actively engaging in cyber attacks on the digital infrastructure of its adversaries. This information is not entirely new, as many are already aware of the country’s involvement in such activities. However, what sets this report apart is the claim that North Korea earns a significant portion of its annual income from cryptocurrency heists conducted through cyber attacks.

Nikkei’s report is based on estimates provided by sources from South Korea. These sources allege that North Korea employs approximately 10,000 hackers located in various nations to support its financially motivated digital attacks. The nation is known to plant its employees in other countries by fabricating false documents, allowing them to initiate and profit from their malicious digital campaigns.

In 2019, the United Nations released an estimate confirming that the North Korean regime, led by Kim Jong Un, had accumulated a staggering $2 billion by launching hacks on cryptocurrency firms and internationally recognized banks. These cyber attacks have proven to be a lucrative source of income for the reclusive nation.

In a separate news development, cybersecurity researcher Jeremiah Fowler recently discovered a significant data breach related to the database of a Free VPN service. Specifically, Fowler found that SuperVPN had experienced a massive data breach, compromising the information of over 360 million users. The leaked data included various personal details such as email addresses, user locations, actual IP addresses, device MAC addresses, and a list of websites visited by the users.

It is worth noting that many free virtual private network services often claim not to store user data on their servers. However, Fowler’s investigation revealed that SuperVPN, available on both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, was operating contrary to its claimed privacy policies. The service provider, SuperSoft Tech, took credit for offering SuperVPN on the Play Store, while Qingdao Leyou Hudong Network Technology Co provided the VPN on the Apple App Store. Both companies had connections to the People’s Republic of China, as evidenced by the Mandarin notes accompanying their services.

These two news items highlight the concerning activities in the realm of cyber warfare and data breaches. The North Korean government’s involvement in cyber attacks and cryptocurrency heists, along with the SuperVPN data breach, serve as reminders of the ongoing threats faced in the digital landscape.

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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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