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Photo: Pyeongyang Press Corps/Pool/Getty Images

Federal investigators levied new charges Wednesday against three North Korean computer programmers accused of wide-ranging cyberattacks, including the 2014 Sony Pictures hack and schemes to extort more than $1.3 billion of money and cryptocurrency.

The big picture: The charges expand on the FBI's 2018 case on the cyberattacks targeting Sony Pictures and the WannaCry 2.0 ransomware attack.

Driving the news: The Justice Department outlined a range of criminal cyber activities it says were undertaken by operatives working for a North Korean military intelligence agency. The attacks include:

  • Cyberattacks on the entertainment industry, including the attack on Sony Pictures in retaliation for the release of "The Interview," a satire that made fun of North Korea's dictatorship.
  • Attempts to steal more than $1.2 billion from banks in multiple countries by hacking their computer networks.
  • Developing malicious cryptocurrency applications — including Celas Trade Pro, WorldBit-Bot, iCryptoFx, Union Crypto Trader, Kupay Wallet, CoinGo Trade, Dorusio, CryptoNeuro Trader, and Ants2Whale — to give the North Korean hackers backdoors into victims’ computers.

What they're saying: "The scope of these crimes by the North Korean hackers are staggering," said Tracy L. Wilkison, acting U.S. attorney for the central district of California. "The conduct detailed in the indictment are the acts of a criminal nation-state that has stopped at nothing to extract revenge and obtain money to prop up its regime."

Go deeper: North Korea's hackers are robbing banks

Go deeper

2 hours ago - Health

Biden says it's "not the time to relax" after touring vaccination site

President Biden speaking after visiting a FEMA Covid-19 vaccination facility in Houston on Feb. 26. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said Friday that "it's not the time to relax" coronavirus mitigation efforts and warned that the number of cases and hospitalizations could rise again as new variants of the virus emerge.

Why it matters: Biden, who made the remarks after touring a vaccination site in Houston, echoed CDC director Rochelle Walensky, who said earlier on Friday that while the U.S. has seen a recent drop in cases and hospitalizations, "these declines follow the highest peak we have experienced in the pandemic."

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: Most COVID-19 survivors can weather risk of reinfection, study says — "Twindemic" averted as flu reports plummet amid coronavirus crisis
  2. Vaccine: FDA advisory panel endorses J&J COVID vaccine for emergency use — About 20% of U.S. adults have received first vaccine dose, White House says — New data reignites the debate over coronavirus vaccine strategy.
  3. Economy: What's really going on with the labor market.
  4. Local: All adult Minnesotans will likely be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine by summer — Another wealthy Florida community receives special access to COVID-19 vaccine.
  5. Sports: Poll weighs impact of athlete vaccination.

The week markets went wild

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio

The markets just closed out a manic week.

Why it matters: Outsized — and in some cases historic — moves were evident across the board.

You’ve caught up. Now what?

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