Hackers linked to North Korea are targeting U.S. military contractors, including those interested in the missile defense system protecting South Korea, according to a Monday report from Palo Alto Networks.
The announcement comes as President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un trade threats over North Korea’s nuclear program.
Palo Alto has observed hackers using the same infrastructure and tools as earlier attacks from the Lazarus Group, which is believed to be sponsored by North Korea, through July. North Korea’s two most recent missile tests were held on July 4 and July 28.
Lazarus is best known in the United States as the group that hacked Sony Pictures in apparent response to “The Interview, ” which depicted Kim’s assassination.
The group sent malware-laced files to employees of U.S. contractors, according to the report, that were designed to look like job ads. One of them was for a management position concerning the THAAD missile defense system, the same system the U.S. is working to erect in South Korea to shoot down potential missile attacks.
North Korea’s July 28 missile test demonstrated that Pyongyang now has missiles hypothetically powerful enough to reach the western United States, although it is unclear if those missiles can survive the journey.
Trump immediately responded to the July tests by angrily tweeting his disappointment at China for not containing the threat from North Korea, which is economically dependent on China. The U.S. later spearheaded a push for United Nations sanctions against North Korea.
Since then, tensions have increased between the two nations, with North Korea claiming, then later dismissing plans to launch missiles towards Guam. Trump has threatened to unleash “fire and fury” on North Korea if it follows through on its threats.
Source: The Hill