Turkey Finance Sector Targeted by North Korea Group, McAfee Says

(Bloomberg) -- Turkey’s financial system has been targeted by a North Korea based cybercrime group named “Hidden Cobra” according to computer security firm McAfee Inc.

The first target was a major government-controlled financial organization, the report said without naming the institution. “It next appeared in another Turkish government organization involved in finance and trade. A further three large financial institutions in Turkey were victims of this attack,” according to a report published by McAfee on Thursday.

This is not the first cyber attack against Turkish financial institutions as Akbank TAS, the country’s second-largest private lender by market value, was a victim of a similar attack through the SWIFT global money transfer network in late 2016.

The U.S. Congressional Research Services said in a report in August last year that North Korea is believed to operate an offensive cyber program that has “the potential not only to disrupt international commerce, but to direct resources to its clandestine weapons and delivery system programs, potentially enhancing its ability to evade international sanctions.”

“From the McAfee blog post it’s hard to say the extent of the infection, as in how many machines were actually infected in each of the government-linked entities," said Matthieu Suiche, founder of Dubai-based cybersecurity firm Comae Technologies.

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