The Justice Department has charged three North Korean computer programmers in a broad range of global hacks, including a destructive attack targeting an American movie studio and an extortion scheme aimed at stealing over $1.3 billion from banks and other financial institutions, federal prosecutors said Wednesday.
The newly unsealed indictment builds off an earlier criminal case brought in 2018 and adds two additional North Korean defendants.
Prosecutors identified all three as members of a North Korean military intelligence agency and said they carried out hacks at the behest of the government with the goal of using stolen funds for the benefit of the regime.
Alarmingly to U.S. officials, the defendants worked at times from locations in China and Russia.
Law enforcement officials say the prosecution underscores the motive of profit behind North Korean criminal hacking, which sets it apart from the espionage of other adversarial nations like China, Russia and