In a shift of priorities by the North Korean’s state-sponsored hacking team, they are now hacking to get money instead of going after state, military and industrial secrets.  According to a report by a South Korean government-backed institute, they have noticed that they are now focused on attacking computers by inserting ransomware to hacking into online poker and gambling websites.

Ever since the 1980s, North Korea has been known to train groups of digital soldiers to engage in cyber-warfare.  These cyber soldiers would then be sent to other countries to form sleeper cells that mostly target the United States and South Korea in electronic warfare and profiteering hacking schemes.

This is a change in their hacking tactics as before last year, North Korea rarely used cyberattacks to acquire money and would mostly be used to steal trade secrets.  In the past decade, many countries have been more aggressive in stopping North Korea from acquiring funds from illegal activities which include gunrunning, gambling, jewel smuggling and even counterfeiting money.

This has left North Korea with a need to acquire more funds to pay for their military and nuclear development and of course for the rich lifestyle of their more prominent government members.  The solution for them has been to focus the cyberattacks to acquire these funds.

One of the new way that North Korea is acquiring more funds is by targeting online gambling sites by using malware to give them the ability to cheat at online poker and various other gambling sites.  So far, the hacking of gambling sites have been limited to online poker and online casino websites.

Even though it appears that sportsbooks have not been hit as much a casino and gambling sites, PricePerPlayer.com a sports betting software company said that it will be adding more security measures in the near future to safeguard their clients’ money.
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In fact, not too long ago, several banks in Vietnam, Bangladesh and Poland where hacked costing them $81 millions and all fingers point to North Korea.

According Kasersky Lab, a Russian cybersecurity company, they have identified a new group of hackers called, Blueneroroff which is a branch of Andarius which is backed by the North Korean government. Blueneroroff is said to have been behind the attacks of financial firms around the world.

The Andarius hacking group on the other hand is suppose to be behind the malware attacks on not just  stealing banking information but also behind the malware to cheat at online poker and other online casino websites.