U.S. Issues Warning Over Risk of Hiring North Korean IT Workers Finding Jobs Online

U.S. Issues Warning Over Risk of Hiring North Korean IT Workers Finding Jobs Online

North Korea, which is infamous for carrying out crypto hacks and unethical missile tests, has apparently found a new way of siphoning funds. 

North Korean IT Workers Are Getting Tech Jobs Online

The U.S. has issued warnings that IT workers from North Korea are trying to find remote work by hiding their true identities. 

According to U.S. agencies, many North Korean IT workers pretend to be from other parts of Asia, thereby enabling them to apply for jobs, especially on freelance platforms where there is high demand for tech skills.

Raising Money for Pyongyang

In a joint advisory warning, the Departments of Justice, State, and the Treasury have cautioned against hiring North Korean IT workers as they try to obtain jobs online to steal money for Pyongyang.

An excerpt from the statement reads: “The DPRK has dispatched thousands of highly skilled IT workers around the world, earning revenue for the DPRK that contributes to its weapons programs in violation of U.S. and UN sanctions.”

The statement urges companies in the United States to treat “requests for payment in cryptocurrency” as a red flag when making new hires. This is because North Korean nationals can use crypto to circumvent sanctions. 

Not only are they using the funds to support Pyongyang and to steal, but these North Korean IT workers also abuse their privileged access to information to stage intrusions. 

On the Flipside

  • The Justice Department has launched its first criminal prosecution involving the alleged use of cryptocurrency to evade U.S. economic sanctions.

Why You Should Care

Due to the international sanctions placed on North Korea, the U.S. has stated that companies which hire North Korean workers could face legal penalties.