The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the U.S. Treasury has sanctioned three individuals for using illegal financing and illicit cyber activity to support the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).
OFAC targets individuals aiding North Korea’s unlawful financial activities
The Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the U.S. Department of the Treasury imposed sanctions on three people for supporting the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) through unlawful financial and cyber activities.
The DPRK allegedly utilizes I.T. professionals to illegally seek employment while laundering stolen virtual money to fund its illegal weapon development. The Republic of Korea and OFAC worked closely together to coordinate their measures.
The U.S. government’s most recent initiatives are part of its continuous fight to combat North Korea’s illicit financing and malicious cyber activity.
Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, Brian E. Nelson has expressed concern about North Korea’s use of shady networks to access the global financial system and generate income using virtual currency to fund its illegitimate WMD and ballistic missile programs.
According to Nelson, these actions directly threaten international security, particularly in light of North Korea’s recent ICBM launches. The United States and its allies are dedicated to preserving the global financial system and preventing North Korea from using it for destabilizing purposes.
The Lazarus Group was previously designated under the same authority in Sept. 2019. Wu Huihui, a person providing material support to the Lazarus Group, has been designated by the U.S. government under Executive Order (E.O.) 13722. Cheng Hung Man has also been designated under E.O. 13722 for handing out material support to Wu.
The Lazarus Group employs strategies like cyber espionage, data theft, destructive malware operations, and financial heists to attack institutions like financial, publishing, entertainment, manufacturing, media, and international shipping firms, as well as government and critical infrastructure.
The U.S. blocks the property of individuals supporting North Korea
As a result of this action, all of the aforementioned individuals’ property and interests in property in the United States or under the possession or control of Americans are blocked.
They are required to be notified by OFAC under E.O. 13722 and E.O. 13382. Additionally, any entities directly or indirectly owned by one or more prohibited persons (over 50%) are likewise blocked.
Additionally, anyone who conducts certain transactions with the people or businesses designated today may be subject to designation themselves.