Is the US 'Mastermind of Cybercrime'? North Korea Blames Washington for 'World's Largest Cyberwar Force'

North Korea denied all the allegations regarding the regime's link to any online criminal activities

The Foreign Ministry of North Korea called the US on Saturday a 'mastermind of cybercrime' as it gave a response to a report dealing Pyongyang's efforts behind hacking banks. In a statement that was posted on the ministry's website, a spokesperson for the nation's 'National Coordination Committee for Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism' denied all the allegations regarding the regime's link to any online criminal activities saying that the rumors are being circulated by the US.

The US Treasury Department and three of the federal agencies, which includes the FBI stated in an alert issued on Wednesday that hackers tried to initiate fraudulent money transfers and ATM 'cash-outs' from many nations that appeared to be a part of North Korea's 'extensive, global cyber-enabled bank robbery scheme'.

The group that was responsible for the activities was identified as the 'BeagleBoyz' as per the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). It is believed to be one of the groups that are controlled by North Korea's Reconnaissance General Bureau for conducting cybercrime globally.

North Korea Says US Is Spreading Rumors

Picture for representation
The North Korea flag flutters next to concertina wire at the North Korean embassy. Reuters

The alert mentioned that such activities generate substantial revenue, which can be used for building nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles that are banned by UN resolutions. The Korean nation responded by accusing Washington of hypocrisy for running what it claimed was the largest cyberwar force in the world and abusing the internet to wage unrestricted cyber warfare against foreign nations.

An 'internet surveillance plan', which is run by the US National Security Agency named 'Prism' testified to such types of actions, the North said, referring to the comments made by Edward Snowden.

"Nowadays, banking institutions of several countries are suffering tremendous losses from a large-scale cyberattack, and it should be duly doubted if it has been done by the United States, which is now bogged down in a serious economic crisis," the statement read as reported by the Korea JoongAng Daily.

In recent times, rumors have been making rounds regarding the health of North Korea's Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un. Many reports claimed that the leader is slowly transferring all his powers to his sister as he is not well. However, pictures of the Supreme Leader released by the country quashed the rumors.

This article was first published on August 30, 2020