Cyber Security research firm Symantic has recently released a statement warning that there have been breaches on several Asian banks that can be linked to North Korea. These heists, which at first used SWIFT credentials to steal $81 million from a Bangladesh central bank, appear to be the first reported incident of a nation state using cyber warfare for monetary gain.
The concern with security does not lay with the Brussels based firm SWIFT but rather its third world clients such as those in Ecuador, Vietnam and Bangladesh where hacks have been reported. This is due to security software and protocols that cannot defend itself against North Korean hackers.
Due to similar coding found in all three attacks, Eric Chien and his team at Symantec have accused North Korean hacking organization, dubbed the Lazarus Group, of these attacks. After several recent thwarted attempts at creating a revenue stream for the state, through counterfeit dollars and other means, this is hardly surprising. With a GDP between $12 billion and $40 billion the North Korean economy is hurting.