Several hacking attempts have been deployed by North Korean state-sponsored threat groups APT37 and APT43, as well as other Reconnaissance General Bureau operations, against defectors' group head Lee Min-bok, Yonhap News Agency reports.
Attacks against Lee, who was a researcher at North Korea's agricultural science institute before defecting to the South in 1990 and later engaging in the delivery of propaganda material to the North, have been conducted by state-backed hackers through email one or more times per week, according to a Mandiant report.
Aside from relentless attacks against Lee, North Korea was also noted by Mandiant to have continuously bolstered its hacking operations, with a primary focus on cyberespionage efforts and financial crimes.
Mandiant researchers also noted that North Korea has worked to strengthen hacking group partnerships, as well as moved to create various malware payloads to compromise different operating systems.
Ukraine has been targeted by Russian threat actors in the new Operation Texontodisinformation campaign that also involved spear-phishing and credential exfiltration tactics, according to The Hacker News.
Record high ransomware and data extortion incidents experienced by Western nations last year have prompted former National Security Agency Director Michael Rogers to call for a reevaluation of their cybersecurity defense strategy.