North Korea’s government announced on 8 September that it was ready to resume talks with the United States in the second half of September. DPRK leader Kim Jong-un has been calling for more flexibility on the part of Washington, particularly with regard to sanctions, amid stalled talks between Pyongyang and the United States.
The US Treasury Department has issued new North Korea-related sanctions targeting three groups, the Treasury said on its website.
The sanctions are imposed on hacking groups known as Lazarus Group, Bluenoroff, and Andariel.
The Treasury said in a press release that “North Korean state-sponsored malicious cyber groups [were] responsible for North Korea’s malicious cyber activity on critical infrastructure”, adding that they are “controlled entities of the Government of North Korea”.
The Lazarus Group and its sub-groups Bluenoroff and Andariel have targeted government, military, financial, manufacturing, publishing, media, entertainment, critical infrastructure, and international shipping companies, the Treasury Department said.
The group was involved in the WannaCry 2.0 ransomware attack that affected 150 countries and caused the shutdown of some 300,000 computers, and was also behind the 2014 cyberattacks on Sony Pictures Entertainment, the Treasury Department added.
North Korea’s government formed Bluenoroff in 2014 to gain revenue illicitly in response to global actions and by 2018 had tried to…