The U.S. government has warned that IT workers from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) are disguising themselves as freelancers to steal privileged access. The stolen access can be used sometimes to facilitate cyber intrusions.
To circumvent the controls put in place by the United States and the United Nations, the IT workers try to cover their North Korean origins.
The advisory warning organizations were provided by the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation FBI.
While the warning states that North Korea is not necessarily involved in cyber intrusions, it has been able to gain access to this information through contractors strategically placed in numerous organizations.
The affected North Korean IT workers pose as teleworkers in the U.S. or other non-sanctioned countries to get into the desired position. They also change their name, use virtual private network (VPN) connections, or use IP addresses from other regions to eliminate their identity.
Some hints to detect these intruders include logins to the same account from different IP addresses in a short time, several developers logging in from the same IP address, and technical clues indicating the use of remote desktop sharing software or a VPN connection.
Others are accounts that receive positive reviews from a customer with similar documentation for setting up developer accounts and, frequent money transfers, especially to banks in China.