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US Woman Helps North Korean Tech Workers Scam Over 300 American Firms

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The US administration announced on Thursday that North Korean technology professionals who were working remotely for hundreds of US corporations had done so under false American identity in order to help finance Pyongyang’s unlawful nuclear weapons and missile development.

Using the names of US residents, Christina Chapman of Arizona assisted three North Korean IT workers for three years, beginning in October 2020, in obtaining “illicit telework employment,” earning around $6.8 million, according to the State Department.

The Justice Department announced charges against Chapman and other suspected co-conspirators in a separate release, claiming that over 300 US corporations were scammed in the endeavour.

“The charges describe a years’ long campaign by the North Korean government to infiltrate US job markets through fraud in an effort to raise revenue for the North Korean government and its illicit nuclear program,” the Justice Department said.

According to the US, the North Korean workers also attempted to obtain information from and jobs with two US government entities, but were unsuccessful. According to the State Department, the employees are connected to North Korea’s programs for weapons development, ballistic missile manufacturing, and research and development. Neither the agencies that did not hire the workers nor the businesses that did recruit them were identified.

According to the Justice Department, Chapman not only assisted in the theft of US identities but also operated a “laptop farm” by hosting computers provided by US corporations on behalf of North Korean workers. She did this by running the computers out of her home, giving the impression that the workers were based in the US.

In addition to depending on cyberattacks and other online crimes, North Korea has resorted to sending IT workers abroad to generate government revenue due to a slew of US and UN sanctions related to its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.

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