A cyber security firm claims to have obtained digital evidence that North Korea was involved in the theft of $81 million from the Bangladesh central bank’s account at the Federal Reserve in New York.
Russian-based Kaspersky Lab released a 58 page report yesterday which they claim links Lazarus – a hacking group linked to the 2014 attack on Sony’s Hollywood studio in the lead-up to the release of the film The Interview – and the heist in Bangladesh.
The cyber security firm’s report found a North Korean IP address made a direct connection with infected servers in Europe.
However, he cautioned that hackers may have gone to great efforts to disguise themselves by making it look like they were from North Korea.
The Bangladesh bank heist was part of a series of cyber attacks targeting banks, financial and trading companies, casinos and cryptocurrency businesses located in at least 18 countries, according to the Kaspersky report.
US National Security Agency deputy director Rick Ledgett told reporters last month that private sector research linking North Korea to the Bangladesh bank heist was strong.
“If that’s true, then that says to me that the North Koreans are robbing banks,” he said.
“That’s a big deal.”
Private sector researchers previously have linked Lazarus to attempted cyber-heists on financial institutions in Bangladesh, Ecuador, the Philippines and Vietnam.
However, Kaspersky believe they have also attacked financial institutions Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Gabon, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Kenya, Malaysia, Nigeria, Poland, Taiwan, Thailand, and Uruguay.
The stolen money is likely being used to fund the advancement of North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons.
However, US law enforcement are suspicious of the company’s ties with the Russian Government.