The Lazarus heist

“Almost a perfect crime.” The hacking ring and an attempt to steal a billion dollars. Investigators blame North Korea. Pyongyang denies involvement. The story begins in Hollywood.

The BBC World Service - The Lazarus Heist

The tenth episode of the BBC World Service podcast series The Lazarus Heist has just been released. The ten part series is a super useful resource for educators and students tackling the higher level Global Interactions section of the IB DP geography course. The podcast series goes a long way to 'stick together' a lot of the different elements of the higher level units of the course.

North Korea is regularly used by students when discussing globalisation as it is one (of only a few) examples of a country fully resisting external influences. One of the things I am going to try and do next year is teach my students a little more about North Korea so that they can use it in a more informed way. Using articles such as North Korea: Why doesn't it have enough food this year? will link well with Unit 3 and Food and Health.

Having a quick look through the IB DP geography guide I believe that the series touches upon, at least, the following:

  • Unit 4: Power, places and networks
    • Global superpowers and their economic, geopolitical and cultural influence
    • An overview of contemporary global networks and flows: illegal flows, such as trafficked people, counterfeit goods and narcotics
    • Our “shrinking world” and the forces driving technological innovation: patterns and trends in communication infrastructure and use
  • Unit 5: Human development and diversity
    • The global spectrum of cultural traits, ethnicities and identities, and ways in which the spectrum of diversity is widening or narrowing at different scales
    • The effects of global interactions on cultural diversity in different places: the diffusion of cultural traits, and cultural imperialism
    • Geopolitical constraints on global interactions: government and militia controls on personal freedoms to participate in global interactions

The podcast series starts with the 2014 'Sony Hack' which has used as as part of 6.1.1 Threats to individuals and businesses for a while. However the series goes much further and weaves an engaging story together.

There is a 'long read' from the BBC to support the series →


BBC News - The Lazarus heist: How North Korea almost pulled off a billion-dollar hack [21 June 2021]

The podcasts have also been added to YouTube. This is obviously a new approach that the BBC is trying but it does have some merits as images/photos being discussed in the podcast can be seen in the video clips →