Google: North Korean Hackers Used Seoul Halloween Tragedy To Distribute Malware

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    The Facts

    • Google's Threat Analysis Group (TAG) stated on Thursday that the North Korean hacking organization APT37 exploited public interest in the deadly Halloween celebration tragedy in Itaewon, central Seoul, to carry out cyber attacks on South Korean targets.

    • Users in South Korea reportedly received suspicious rich text format (RTF) documents disguised as a press release about the tragedy on Oct. 31, two days after the event in which more than 150 people died.

    The Spin

    Pro-establishment narrative

    North Korea has for years carried out a government-backed hacking campaign, so this news is no surprise. While exploiting a tragedy to distribute a corrupted document would be outrageous for any country in the world, it hardly constitutes a new low for Pyongyang which, rather than offering up condolences over the incident, instead fired an unprecedented barrage of missiles during the South's period of mourning.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    The US has a reputation for blaming cyber attacks on its enemies, even while hypocritically hacking, wiretapping, and carrying out criminal cyber acts — it should come as no surprise that the US-based company Google is now accusing North Korea of hacking activities. Washington does not want to protect cyberspace, but rather to create a confrontational environment that favors its hegemony.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 14% chance that any single cyberattack in 2022 will result in damages over $10B, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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