Money laundering and illicit banking networks were reported by the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime to have been shared by North Korean state-sponsored threat operations, including the Lazarus Group, with criminals in various countries across Southeast Asia, including Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Thailand, according to Reuters.
Casinos and junkets across the region have been infiltrated by organized crime to facilitate the concealed laundering of "massive volumes" of stolen cash and cryptocurrency, said the report, which noted that nearly $81 million exfiltrated in a 2016 cyberattack against the Central Bank of Bangladesh linked to the Lazarus Group had been laundered with the assistance of Philippines-based casino and junket operators.
Organized crime was also noted by UNODC Regional Representative for Southeast Asia and the Pacific Jeremy Douglas to have been fueled by casinos and cryptocurrency.
Meanwhile, the report's findings were disputed by an individual at North Korea's mission to the UN, who noted that all Lazarus reports were misinformation and speculation.
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.