Jiji Press NEW YORK (Jiji Press) — North Korea may have been involved in a fraud case in which a total of ¥1.86 billion was withdrawn fraudulently from automated teller machines in Japan in 2016, a U.N. panel said in an interim report on Thursday.
The cash was withdrawn all at once in the early morning of May 15, 2016, from ATMs installed at convenience stores in 17 of 47 prefectures, including Tokyo, Aichi and Osaka, through the use of counterfeit credit cards made with customer information from South Africa’s Standard Bank.
The Japanese government told the expert panel of the U.N. Security Council sanctions committee on North Korea that some 260 people were arrested over the fraud as of July 9 this year.
The interim report did not mention specifically how North Korea was involved in the incident.
The panel is conducting investigations on suspicion that North Korea took part in a total of 35 cyber-attacks against financial institutions and cryptocurrency exchanges in 17 countries, including the Standard Bank case.
Elsewhere in the report, the panel said that North Korea is suspected of having earned a total of some $2 billion through cyber-attacks to finance its weapons of mass destruction program.
As North Korea’s cyber-attack methods, the panel cited attacks against financial institutions through the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication and thefts of cryptocurrencies via attacks on exchanges for such assets and their users.Speech