DailySA: North Korean hackers have the crypto-map – Forward Observer

DailySA: North Korean hackers have the crypto-map

Good morning. Here’s your Daily Situational Awareness for Tuesday, 19 April 2022. You can receive this daily briefing by signing up at https://forwardobserver.com/daily-sa

TODAY’S BRIEFING:

  • North Korean hackers have the crypto-map
  • Pentagon quietly plans UK-base nuke upgrades
  • Direct energy tool becomes scalable
  • Florida judge declares masks on flights unlawful

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  • Early Warning Intelligence Summary
  • Far Left Activity Rollup & Outlook

SITUATIONAL AWARENESS

NORTH KOREAN HACKERS HAVE THE CRYPTO-MAP: DeFiance Capital founder Aurthur Cheong said on Friday that North Korean hackers, also known as the Lazarus Group or APT38, have penetrated, and have likely successfully mapped out, nearly all corners of the crypto industry. Cheong went on to add that APT38, through years of reconnaissance work, has developed the tools and knowledge to steal cryptocurrency at will and could cause significant harm to the crypto industry. Cheong believes North Korea is actively “running an organized campaign to target all prominent organizations in the crypto space.” (AC: North Korean hackers most recently stole $625 million from the Ronin crypto network. Cybercrime is viewed as a revenue-generating activity in North Korea and is a key method of acquiring funding and material in pursuit of its sanctioned nuclear and ballistic missile programs. North Korean hackers often team up with non-state-sanctioned hacking collectives to monetize and launder their proceeds. – M.M.)

PENTAGON QUIETLY PLANS UK-BASED NUKE UPGRADES:  The Biden administration is allocating $384 million to NATO programs for “special weapon” storage in the UK.  RAF Lakenheath is a likely recipient of the funds and may indicate a break in U.S. and NATO strategy in nuclear deterrence. Nuclear watchdogs believe the storage upgrades will facilitate rapid deployment of nuclear weapons in Europe, not necessarily house more warheads. (AC: NATO and the U.S. appear to be heading for a protracted standoff in Europe. The long-term investment in NATO nuclear storage facilities signals Russia will remain an issue well beyond the Ukrainian war. – D.M.)

DIRECT ENERGY TOOL BECOMES SCALABLE: Lockheed Martin is working on scaling their 100kw laser system after a successful test against a cruise missile in February. The capability may have immediate relevance to U.S. modernization plans and is planned as an attachment on ships, ground combat vehicles, and cargo aircraft. The next phase will ensure “ruggedization” and development of a “deep magazine” capacity to fill multiple Department of Defense (DOD) needs. According to Lockheed’s partner company, Rolls Royce, the laser is powered by “Coldfire” which weighs 66% less and is 70% smaller in volume than comparable commercial systems. (AC: Direct energy weapons are seen as key future capabilities for a conflict in the Indo-Pacific. The compact form of the weapon allows more versatility for integration on existing platforms. The successful direct energy test was specifically for defense against cruise missile threats; however, the capability can also be used to counter unmanned aerial systems. – D.F.)

FLORIDA JUDGE DECLARES MASKS ON FLIGHTS UNLAWFUL: U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle, appointed under President Trump, said mask mandates on flights and trains are unlawful. She vacated the CDC order, sending it back “for further proceedings.” (AC: The administration’s inconsistent guidance on mask policies and recent extension, is likely to be upheld upon further review. Critics note the White House’s recission of Title 42, while extending travel mandates is incongruous at best and two-faced at worst. – D.M.)

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