Kim Jong-un's regime has been connected to a number of major hacks in recent years, with its attention primarily focused on neighbour and rival South Korea.
Most famously, a hacker collective known as the "Lazarus Group", allegedly backed by Pyongyang, was blamed for the WannaCry ransomware attack last summer, which locked out IT systems across the world, hitting the NHS in the UK and such major international businesses as Russia's Sberbank and carmakers Honda and Renault.
Speaking ahead of the launch of the 2018 edition of CrowdStrike's annual threat report, co-founder Dmitri Alperovitch warned that cyber-attacks had grown in intensity and sophistication over the last year.
"In 2018, my biggest worry is actually about North Korea. I worry a great deal that they may do a destructive attack, perhaps against our financial sector, in an attempt to deter a potential US strike against either their nuclear facilities or even the regime itself," he told The Guardian.
"Regardless of whether a military strike is actually on the cards or not, what matters is whether they think one might happen. And given all the rhetoric over the last year or so, it wouldn’t be irrational for them to assume that," he added.
The report itself warns that North Korea is, "likely to continue malicious cyber activity against entities in South Korea, Japan and the US. Network access obtained via remote access tools... may be used to deploy wiper malware."
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