North Korea visited by Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu
A major Russian weapons maker has allegedly been targeted by an “elite group of North Korean hackers” despite the two nations striking a terrifying alliance, a report has claimed.
NPO Mashinostroyeniya is a major Russian weapons developer based on the outskirts of Moscow which manufactures hypersonic missiles, satellites, and ballistic armaments.
It was reportedly breached over a five-month period by cyber-espionage teams connected to the North Korean government, according to Reuters.
Security analysts from cyber security firm SentinelOne and Reuters analysts reviewed technical evidence and found that systems were covertly breached for at least five months last year.
SentinelOne said it was confident North Korea was responsible for the hack because the cyberspies had reused known malware and malicious infrastructure previously set up to carry out other breaches.
READ MORE Putin given taste of own medicine with North Korean missile attacks
The breach began in late 2021 and lasted until May 2022, when IT engineers allegedly spotted suspicious activity.
However, it is unclear whether any data was taken as a result of the hack.
It came as North Korea announced new developments in its ballistic missile program, although it was not clear if the breach was directly linked to the announcement.
Last month, North Korea test-launched is powerful Hwasong-18 missile in a major threat to the West.
Markus Schiller, a Europe-based missile expert familiar with North Korea’s weapons program, told Reuters that the Russian weapons maker would be a valuable target for Pyongyang.
Russia has the world’s largest stockpile of nuclear weapons with beastly missiles such as the Sarmat-II and Zicron capable of causing devastation.
John R. Bryson, Professor of Enterprise and Economic Geography Birmingham University told Daily Express US that North Korea’s technological capabilities in the nuclear space still remain far behind Russia’s.
But the two nations appear to be cosying up and aligning against the West as tensions sink.
Prof Bryson said: “Russia’s ongoing military cooperation with North Korea is an example of Putin’s desperation. North Korea is not an innovator in terms of military technology. North Korea can provide Russia with weapons, but of what quality and quantity?
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“There are also dangers for Putin in Russia becoming too aligned with North Korea. What could be forming is an alliance of rogue states.”
But according to Paul Bracken, professor of management and political science at the Yale School of Management, the new alliance could make it easier for the North Koreans to learn lessons from Russia’s nuclear prowess.
He told Daily Express US: “There will be huge consequences: evading sanctions; sell ammo, drones, and landmines; and allow key specialists to help build their national programs. A Russian missile engineer can more easily go to North Korea to consult now.
“But we shouldn’t look for the taut blocs of the Cold War, like NATO and the Warsaw Pact. Things are much looser now.”
Last month, Russia’s defence minister visited North Korea this week, observing banned ballistic missiles alongside leader Kim Jong Un at a military expo in Pyongyang.
Sergei Shoigu said in a statement released by Russia’s defence ministry following the meeting: “I am convinced that today’s talks will help strengthen co-operation between our defence agencies.”
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