The federal government is warning private U.S. companies and the international community IT workers from North Korea are trying to bring money back to Kim Jong Un's regime and even conduct cyber espionage.
According to a UN Security Council panel, hundreds of North Korean workers are based in China, while smaller groups are based in Russia, Africa, and other parts of Asia.
There are thousands of North Korean IT workers sent overseas and located within North Korea generating revenue that is sent back to the North Korean government, the Department of State,Department of State, Department of the Treasury and FBI said in a joint statement on Monday.
An overseas North Korean IT worker earns at least ten times more than a typical North Korean laborer working in a factory or on a construction project overseas. The workers have used the privileged access gained as contractors to allow North Korea to use cyber intrusions, as they funnel money back to the regime, the officials said.
Cybercrime is a way that North Korea funds its ballistic missile programs. A cybercrime syndicate called the Lazarus Group, linked to North Korea, stole more than $620 million in cryptocurrencies from a platform last month, according to the Treasury Department.