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A poster for "The Interview." Photo: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

The Department of Justice announced Thursday it had filed a criminal complaint in June of this year against a North Korean and a North Korean entity for hacking Sony Pictures in 2014, digitally stealing millions of dollars from the bank of Bangladesh, the WannaCry malware attack in 2017 and other attacks.

Why it matters: Until now, North Korea had been the only country of the four major non-U.S. cyber powers that had not seen U.S. indictments, behind Iran, China and Russia.

The details: The Treasury Department will sanction Park Jin Hyok and Chosun Expo Joint Venture, an alleged front IT company. Park worked for North Korean governmental hacking group the Lazarus Group and is believed to be in North Korea.

According to the complaint: Park worked with several other conspirators. Crimes continued through 2018 and the investigation is ongoing. North Korea allegedly hacked Sony over the Seth Rogan movie "The Interview," which had been widely assumed to be the motive.

  • During the attack on Sony, Lazarus allegedly sent spear-phishing emails to the UK-based production company Mammoth Screen and to AMC, which planned to show the movie.

Lazarus allegedly used the same aliases from Sony to attack Lockheed Martin, using a lure email of the THAAD missile defense system, per the complaint.

Lazarus was behind the 2017 WannaCry attack, causing billions of dollars in damages internationally. The WannaCry malware was meant to appear to be ransomware and briefly caused a massive disruption across the U.K. hospital system.

Go deeper

How the Delta variant ups the stakes in the war against COVID

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

The dominant Delta variant's ability to efficiently infect people and rapidly grow inside a person is enabling the coronavirus to regain its footing in the United States.

Why it matters: "The solution is right in front of us — get everybody vaccinated and we wouldn't even be talking about this," NIAID director Anthony Fauci tells Axios.

Apple debuts plan to detect images of child sexual abuse

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Apple announced new iPhone features Thursday that it said would enable the detection and reporting of illegal images of child sexual abuse while preserving users' privacy.

Driving the news: One new system will use cryptographic hashes to identify illegal images that users are uploading to Apple's iCloud without Apple directly snooping in users' troves of photos, which can be encrypted.

California wildfire explodes in size, destroys historic town

Battalion Chief Sergio Mora looks on as the Dixie fire burns through downtown Greenville, Calif. on Aug. 4, 2021. Photo: Josh EdelsonAFP via Getty Images

The small Sierra town of Greenville, Calif., was heavily damaged on Wednesday night into early Thursday as the Dixie Fire surged northward amid high winds, extremely dry air and hot temperatures.

The big picture: The Dixie Fire, California's biggest blaze and the sixth-largest wildfire in state history, razed houses and businesses as it ripped through Greenville and surrounding areas in Plumas County.

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