Biden executive warns of tech industry infiltrating North Korea

The administration that IT professionals skilled in developing dating apps and mobile games may actually be Koreans the to benefit their country’s weapons and missile programs.

The FBI, State Department and Treasury Department issued a joint advisory this week, saying North has sent thousands of highly skilled workers to North America, Europe and East Asia to earn money for the regime’s weapons and missile programs. Insiders also “privileged access gained as contractors, [North ’s] malicious cyber attacks.”

“In most cases, [North Korean] IT workers represent themselves as US-based and/or non-North Korean teleworkers. “Workers can further conceal their identity and/or location by subcontracting non-North Koreans.”

Tech workers come from North Korean organizations responsible for research and development of nuclear and conventional weapons, including the General Bureau of the 313 Ordnance Industry Department (MID) and the Ministry of Atomic Energy Industry; as well as government departments focusing on commerce, technology, science and education.

Stealth tech workers targeted the development of dating apps, online gambling programs, mobile and web apps, mobile games, general IT support, artificial intelligence apps, virtual reality and augmented reality programming, facial recognition technology, and hardware development, among other things. according to the recommendation.

The consultancy said North Korean IT workers “could in some cases earn more than $300,000 a year individually, and teams of IT workers collectively could earn more than $3 million a year.” “A significant percentage of their gross earnings, [North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s] priorities”, including acquiring weapons of mass destruction.

Workers often present themselves as Chinese, Eastern European, Japanese, South Korean and US-based teleworkers. They are found primarily in China and Russia, with a smaller contingent in Africa and Southeast Asia.

An example of how North Koreans hide their jobs is Yanbian Silverstar Network Technology Co., a supposedly Chinese IT company but actually managed and controlled by North Koreans, the company approved by the US in 2018, Russia, also known as Volasys Silver Star. founded a front company.

The Biden administration said “red flag” indications of suspected workers included inconsistencies in the spelling of names, nationalities, workplaces, contact details, educational and employment histories, and other details on their social media profiles and developers’ freelance platform and portfolio. websites.

The US government has warned that the possible legal consequences of supporting workers include violations of US sanctions.

“Everything [North Korean] IT workers earn money to support the regime of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. “The vast majority of them are directly affiliated with and work on behalf of the relevant organizations. [Pyongyang’s] Advanced conventional weapons development and trade sectors, as well as UN-prohibited WMD and ballistic missile programs.”

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