They told the outlet that the failure of the recent US-North Korean summit, which finished without any agreement or declaration partially due to Pyongyang’s demand to lift the restrictions, might result in a surge in cyberattacks.
"The North Koreans have quickly become the world's most advanced and persistent digital bank robbers … It's clear that global economic penalties are working and have forced the North Koreans to turn to alternative approaches to create revenue," Anthony Ferrante, a former FBI and White House cybersecurity official, who currently works as a head of cybersecurity at the FTI Consulting company, told CNN.
"They need hard currency. That's a good way to get it, and then if you're going to choose among the banks you're not going to start with the largest, most sophisticated bank with the most sophisticated cyber defenses, you're going to look around and see maybe who you think might be more vulnerable," Demers explained.
North Korea has been subject to international economic and diplomatic sanctions for years due to its nuclear and weapons tests, held in violations of UN resolutions.
After the talks, North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho said his country had asked for partial US sanctions relief, which he called a "realistic" offer. Trump, in his turn, has said that North Korean officials have asked for a complete removal of sanctions, adding that he is not ready for this unless a "real" program for denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is agreed upon.