The Federal Bureau of Investigation FBI has linked Instagram celebrity, Ramon Olorunwa Abbas, a.k.a Hushpuppi, to North Korean hackers said to be the biggest bank robbers in the world.The Justice Department in a detailed statement released on Friday, February 19, alleged that Hushpuppi took part in a “North Korean-perpetrated cyber-enabled heist from a Maltese bank in February 2019.” According to the statement, his role was as a collaborator with a North Korean money launderer, Ghaleb Alaumary, 37, based in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada.
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Click To Start Selling NowAccompanying Mitigation Efforts Throughout the investigation, the FBI and the Justice Department provided specific information to victims about how they had been targeted or compromised, as well as information about the tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) used by the hackers with the goals of remediating any intrusion and preventing future intrusions. That direct sharing of information took place in the United States and in foreign countries, often with the assistance of foreign law enforcement partners. The FBI also collaborated with certain private cybersecurity companies by sharing and analyzing information about the intrusion TTPs used by the members of the conspiracy. In addition to the criminal charges, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Treasury, today released a joint cybersecurity advisory and malware analysis reports (MARs) regarding North Korean cryptocurrency malware. The joint cybersecurity analysis and MARs highlight the cyber threat North Korea – which is referred to by the U.S. government as HIDDEN COBRA – poses to cryptocurrency and identify malware and indicators of compromise related to the “AppleJeus” family of malware (the name given by the cybersecurity community to a family of North Korean malicious cryptocurrency applications that includes Celas Trade Pro, WorldBit-Bot, Union Crypto Trader, Kupay Wallet, CoinGo Trade, Dorusio, CryptoNeuro Trader, and Ants2Whale). The joint cybersecurity advisory and MARs collectively provide the cybersecurity community and public with information about identifying North Korean malicious cryptocurrency applications, avoiding intrusions, and remedying infections. The U.S. Attorney’s Office and FBI also obtained seizure warrants authorizing the FBI to seize cryptocurrency stolen by the North Korean hackers from a victim in the indictment – a financial services company in New York – held at two cryptocurrency exchanges. The seizures include sums of multiple cryptocurrencies totalling approximately $1.9 million, which will ultimately be returned to the victim. Jon, Kim, and Park are charged with one count of conspiracy to commit computer fraud and abuse, which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison, and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison. In relation to the case filed in Los Angeles, Alaumary has agreed to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. The charges contained in the indictment are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The investigation of Jon, Kim, and Park was led by the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office, which worked closely with the FBI’s Charlotte Field Office. The U.S. Secret Service’s Los Angeles Field Office and Global Investigative Operations Center provided substantial assistance. The FBI’s Cyber Division also provided substantial assistance.