North Korea hackers threaten Irish companies with ‘almost daily’ attacks

Haythem Elmir

State-sponsored hackers from North Korea are launching almost daily attacks on Irish companies and critical infrastructure

North Korean state-sponsored hackers are launching almost daily attacks on Irish companies and critical infrastructure, they are also suspected to be responsible for the €4.3m cyber heist on Meath County Council in October 2016. Ireland is considered a privileged target of nation-state actors due to the presence of many US multinationals. Defence Minister Paul Kehoe recognized the urgency to rapidly improve the security of national infrastructure against cyber attacks. The overall cost of cyber attacks on Irish companies has soared from €498,000 in 2014 to €1.7m in 2016, and the situation will be worst in a next future.“The number of cyber attacks suffered by Irish businesses doubled between 2012 and 2016, but that figure is expected to double or even treble because of recent ransomware attacks.” reported the Irish Independent.

North Korea has recently turned to international cyber robbery to fund its military operations, and Ireland is on the front line of the cyber battle. “But North Korea has thrown the entire rule book out the window. It is basically engaging in cyber warfare to raise funds and to cause global chaos.” explained the expert Ronan Murphy form Smarttech247.“There is no safe hiding place anymore. These aren’t ordinary criminal gangs – you are essentially dealing with state cyber intelligence units.” Murphy attributed the massive WannaCry ransomware attack to the North Korean attack that was financially motivated by that only netted a measly €120,000 for Pyongyang. Murphy highlighted the importance to improve security defenses against even more sophisticated cyber attacks.

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