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North Korea-Backed Hackers Targeting Security Researchers

8 - February 2021

According to Google, North Korean-backed hackers are pretending to be security researchers, complete with a fake research blog and bogus Twitter profiles. These actions are supposedly part of spying efforts against actual security experts.

In an online report posted on 25 January, Google’s Threat Analysis Group, which focuses on government-backed attacks, provided an update on this ongoing campaign, which Google identified over the past several months. The North Korean hackers are apparently focusing on computer scientists at different companies and organizations working on research and development into computer security vulnerabilities.

“Sophisticated security researchers and professionals often have important information of value to attackers, and they often have special access privileges to sensitive systems. It is no wonder they are targets,” says Salvatore Stolfo, a computer scientist specializing in computer security at Columbia University, who did not take part in this research. “Successfully penetrating the security these people employ would provide access to very valuable secrets.”

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