Nigeria is listed among 18 countries where North Korean hackers have allegedly been attacking banks to get funds for sponsoring nuclear programme.
Cyber security firm Kaspersky disclosed this in a new report. The organisation said this could be regarded as the biggest bank heists in history.
The finding comes after more than a year-long investigation into the activity of Lazarus, a hacking group allegedly responsible for the theft of $81 million in US currency from the Central Bank of Bangladesh last year.
The suggestion that North Korea could have been behind the attack, or at least involved, has added to concerns that the Hermit Kingdom is becoming more bold it its cyber attacks against global financial institutions.
And the massive amounts of stolen money North Korea pilfers is likely being spent on advancing its development of nuclear weapons, two international security experts told CNN.
“This is all for their nuclear weapons and missile programs. They need this money for building and researching more ballistic missiles,” said Anthony Ruggiero, a senior fellow for Foundation for Defense of Democracies who specialises in North Korea.
The US has long been suspicious of the ties the Moscow-based company has to Russia but on the surface Kaspersky Lab is one of the world’s leading cybersecurity and antivirus firms.
The company’s report — which it presented this week at a cybersecurity conference in the Caribbean — claims it found evidence of the same hacking operation launching attacks on financial institutions in Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Gabon, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Kenya, Malaysia, Nigeria, Poland, Taiwan, Thailand, and Uruguay.