Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco announced that the US Justice Department hasseized $500,000 (roughly Rs. 4 crore) from North Korean hackers using ransomware. The North Korean group said it hacked a Kansas hospitals system in 2021 and demanded a ransom, threatening to cripple the facilities' servers if their demands were not met.
Prosecutors in North Korea have slowed the flow of a North Korean state-sponsored group that deployed ransomware known as Maui because to a swift reporting and cooperation from a victim.'
The hackers, according to the woman, used a strain of malware known as Maui to encrypt data and servers at a Kansas-based hospital, demanding a ransom payment in exchange for the key to unlocking the data. The incident took place in May 2021.
Monaco said the hospital management faced an impossible choice at that time: give in to the ransom demand or limit physicians and nurses' capacity to provide critical care.
The hospital paid the hackers about $100,000 (roughly Rs. 80 lakh) in Bitcoin. But the hospital also alerted the FBI, enabling federal investigators to identify the malware and trace this and other ransom payments to North Korean money laundering organizations.
Monaco said that this enabled us to recover their ransom payment as well as a ransom paid by previously unknown victims.
According to court filings, one previously unknown victim was a Colorado-based hospital. The unidentified hospital paid a ransom payment of about $120,000 (roughly Rs. 96 lakh) into one of the cybercriminals' two cryptocurrency accounts in April 2022.
Ransomware assaults have increased in frequency in recent years, with cybercriminals attempting to infiltrate schools, hospitals, and local governments as victims.
The US intelligence community released its most recent annual threat assessment in February, revealing that cyber criminals are growing the number, scope, and sophistication of ransomware attacks, fostering a virtual ecosystem that threatens to disrupt critical services across the world.