Stories by Joe Uchill

North Korean hackers could start stealing business secrets

Illustration of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un copying a document
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

As North Korea tries to rev up its economy, it may shift its hacking efforts from financial thievery to stealing intellectual property, China-style. That's according to a contested new theory from cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike.

Why it matters: North Korea is already one of the "big four" hacking threats — along with China, Russia and Iran — but it currently focuses on cash theft to fill its sanctions-drained coffers. Though experts are mixed on the likelihood Pyongyang's hackers would switch to the model China used to build its domestic industries, most seem to think it's a threat worth keeping an eye on.

North Korean hackers could start stealing business secrets

illustration of kim jong un shooting lasers out of his eyes
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

As North Korea tries to rev up its economy, it may shift its hacking efforts from financial thievery to stealing intellectual property, China-style. That's according to a contested new theory from cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike.

Why it matters: North Korea is already one of the "big four" hacking threats — along with China, Russia and Iran — but it currently focuses on cash theft to fill its sanctions-drained coffers. Though experts are mixed on the likelihood Pyongyang's hackers would switch to the model China used to build its domestic industries, most seem to think it's a threat worth keeping an eye on.

Microsoft: Fancy Bear targeted European think tanks

Fancy bear
Photo: Matthias Balk/picture alliance via Getty Images

In a blog post Tuesday night, Microsoft announced hackers tried to breach accounts belonging to European think tanks late last year. While investigations are underway, Microsoft is "confident" many of the attempts came from the espionage group Fancy Bear, which the United States government has attributed to Russia.

The big picture: Fancy Bear — or as Microsoft calls the group, Strontium — is best known in the United States for hacking the Democratic National Committee and other political targets during the 2016 election. Notably, the German Marshall Fund runs a Russian social media disinformation tracking site known as Hamilton 68.

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