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Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Did North Korea really hack OTMT?

Did North Korea really hack OTMT? North Korea’s elite “Reaper” hacking unit has been expanding its attacks abroad over the past year, and one of its targets might have been Orascom Telecom Media and Technology Holding (OTMT), the Wall Street Journal (paywall) reports. Among the attacks that have attacked foreign companies was “a Middle Eastern company that had entered into a joint venture with the North Korean government to offer telecommunications service,” cybersecurity firm FireEye said in a report. The attack, FireEye suspects, was an attempt by the North Korean government to gather information on the company after the business relationship soured. FireEye didn’t disclose the company’s name, but it is hard not to draw a connection between the company and OTMT, which established Koryolink with the Pyongyang government back in 2008. Reports had emerged back in December that Sawiris was backing out of his investment in the Koryolink 3G network due to mounting pressure from the UN and US over his business ties there. The report noted that OTMT had halted its services there early last month. OTMT denied that it was backing out of North Korea. Reuters also has the story.

OTMT Chairman Naguib Sawiris told The Wall Street Journal he was unaware of any North Korean cyberattack last year, and doubted that one occurred. He said a Ukrainian outfit launched an attack on Orascom, but it was unsuccessful.

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