The FBI has warned firms against accidentally recruiting IT personnel from North Korea. The state and treasury departments, as well as the FBI, advised that North Korean hackers were attempting to deceive businesses by impersonating freelancers.
In this case, they take advantage of remote work possibilities to earn money for the regime.
Federal officials say that the country’s hackers have been using this method to get around US and UN sanctions. North Korea has obtained funds from these sorts of activities to fund its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs, according to reports.
Companies that do not conduct appropriate research may hire and pay such staff, according to the official notice. This might expose them to legal consequences and penalties for sanctions infractions.
The FBI noted that there are hundreds of North Korean IT professionals, many of whom are potential hackers. These workers are dispatched to other countries or sent to the DPRK from within the country.
What to keep an eye on
DPRK freelancers impersonate people from South Korea, Japan, or other Asian countries, according to the FBI. Employers must be on the lookout for a number of warning signals during the recruiting process.
The main warning signs to look for include not participating in video conferences. Furthermore, North Korean workers demand payment in virtual currencies.
North Korean freelancers are said to be mostly based in China and Russia, according to US officials. Some, on the other hand, operate from west and central Africa and Southeast Asia.
According to the report, some North Korean workers are attempting to profit from foreign exchange or access crypto exchanges in order to help Pyongyang’s government-sponsored hacking activities.
“We have seen that the staff may steal consumer account information for US and international banks to verify their identities,” the executives said. Freelancers can exchange their verified identities for work on freelance platforms, payment systems, and businesses.