Japanese Police And FSA Issue a Joint Cyber Alert to Crypto Companies

A recent NPA cyber security report revealed that hackers from the renowned criminal organization Lazarus Group are allegedly targeting crypto firms in Japan. Authorities have given the suspects “public attribution,” noting that the hackers are from North Korea and most likely belong to the Lazarus gang of online criminals.

Lazarus is referred to by the NPA as “a subordinate organization of the North Korean authorities,” and the NPA claims that recent cyberattacks target enterprises involved in crypto-assets. The NPA in Japan also mentions American law enforcement personnel. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has issued similar cautions on the precise assault strategies used by the Lazarus Group.

According to the NPA, the hackers also “approach employees of the target company” using a “false account” and send “employees phishing emails pretending to be executives of the target company.” The Japanese media organization Japan News stated that this is the eighth time the Japanese government has issued a warning on the infamous Lazarus Group. The report says that the NPA has not reported any particular Lazarus-related case. However, the Japan News story did state that according to people who know the situation, Lazarus was accountable for the 2018 Zaif attack and the 2019 Bitpoint Japan intrusion.

The NPA’s advisory cautions readers against responding to suspicious phishing emails and sketchy individuals using disguises. According to Trend Micro chief Katsuyuki Okamoto, the NPA’s combined warning with the Financial Services Agency (FSA) is beneficial because it draws attention to the issue. “It’s important to engage in public attribution, as it will raise public awareness of the perpetrator’s tactics and prompt people to take measures,” Okamoto said in a statement.

The new warning comes after North Korea launched a ballistic missile over Japan during the first week of October. Five years ago, in 2017, Pyongyang launched a missile over Japan for the final time. Following North Korea’s latest missile provocation over the Aomori Prefecture, tensions between the two nations have risen.

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