Japan police warn of fraudulent N.Korean IT workers' tactics

Japan's National Police Agency has released details of the tactics employed by North Korean IT workers who use forged identities to obtain work from Japanese firms.

A United Nations report says income earned by North Korean IT workers dispatched abroad is bankrolling the country's nuclear and missile development programs.

Japan is one of the countries where North Korean engineers are allegedly gaining contracts or engaging in malicious cyber activities by posing as Japanese nationals.

The National Police Agency issued the advisory on the detailed tactics, along with the Foreign Ministry, Finance Ministry, and the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry.

The advisory says many North Korean IT workers live in China, Russia, Southeast Asia and elsewhere.

They are said to open accounts on online job platforms, forging their nationalities and claiming to be freelancers seeking wide-ranging jobs, such as producing websites and software.

The advisory says North Korean workers typically speak broken Japanese, decline to communicate face-to-face via online video conferencing, and offer to handle work at prices that are lower than normal.

It also says the names used on the online platforms may differ from those on bank accounts to which payments are to be deposited.

The National Police Agency says investigators in Japan have so far uncovered three cases of illegal money transfers and other crimes, allegedly involving North Korean IT engineers.

The agency says outsourcing work and making payments to North Korean workers could violate Japanese law. It is urging firms and other entities to thoroughly conduct identity checks before agreeing contracts.