- It is alleged that North Korea is behind attempted cyber attacks on online casinos and poker sites
- Allegations suggest that attempts are being made to steal money to fund nuclear weapons programmes
The reported hackers are alleged to be sponsored by the state, with some suggesting that the infiltrators belong to the government and are trying to steal cash to potentially fund nuclear endeavors.
The Financial Security Institute (FSI) of South Korea has been investigating North Korea’s potential involvement in cyber attacks of this kind since 2014.
And on Thursday, it released a report stating that a group of hackers previously targeting South Korea and its government agencies was now more interested in activities around bank cards, stealing cash and selling false identities.
Allegedly, a large part of this money-stealing effort had been to install malware capable of cheating in online poker games and making the hackers more able to win across other online casino sites.
North Korean involvement
The FSI’s report implies that at this point, Kim Jong Un – North Korea’s Supreme Leader – cares a great deal more about economic gain than about getting access to classified secrets or closing down business operations.
Of course, the secretive nature of nations like North Korea means that much of this is speculation. However, with tensions in the region escalating due to ongoing missile tests by the North Koreans, some are suggesting that the latest online-gambling-website-oriented cyber-attack may be an attempt to fund the country’s nuclear research.
This wouldn’t be the first time that North Korean government officials had been behind an attack such as this: in 2014, South Korea’s FSI linked the attack on Sony’s Hollywood studio – which saw huge amounts of company data deleted and a lot of employee information revealed – to officials in Pyongyang.
Meanwhile, the security groups of other countries have linked the WannaCry ransomware attack in May of this year to North Korea. This attack infected and took hold of more than 300,000 computers across 150 countries.
The country has been accused of targeting all types of banking information and many kinds of currency – so far, everything from ATM machines to Bitcoin has been a suspected target.
North Korean government officials have denied their involvement in this latest bout of cyber-attacks.
What does this mean for online poker players?
So far, the details of how this group of hackers managed to obtain entry into online poker games’ financial records has not been made known to the public.
But if the WannaCry ransomware attack is anything to go by, North Korean hackers trying their luck on internet gambling websites could infect users’ computers and hold their accounts, not to mention their money, ransom.
It is now more important than ever for those who play poker and other gambling games online to keep their computer systems free of any software that could be malicious, and to keep their bankrolls in more than one account for safety purposes.
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