USA government names North Korea as the source of WannaCry

19 December, 2017, 11:14 | Author: Darren Santiago
  • North Korea is under tough United Nations sanctions aimed at choking off revenue to Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programmes

British security officials suspected that North Korea was behind the WannaCry attacks, linking them to a group called Lazarus that was also behind the 2014 cyberattacks on Sony Pictures, the BBC reported in June.

Thomas Bossert, a Homeland Security adviser to President Donald Trump, laid out the Administration's case against North Korea in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal.

"Bossert goes on to say: "[WannaCry] encrypted and rendered useless hundreds of thousands of computers. while victims received ransom demands, paying did not unlock their computers.

Many security researchers, including the cyber firm Symantec, as well as the British government, have already concluded that North Korea was likely behind the WannaCry attack, which quickly unfurled across the globe in May to infect more than 300,000 computers in 150 countries.

Looking ahead, Bessert writes that the US will take steps to curtail North Korea's "ability to mount attacks, cyber or otherwise".

North Korea has defended its actions by claiming such weapons were necessary to deter a US invasion, but Trump and a number of other countries have accused Kim and his government of threatening the stability of the region. "North Korea has acted especially badly, largely unchecked, for more than a decade, and its malicious behavior is growing more egregious. The United Kingdom attributes the attack to North Korea, and Microsoft traced the attack to cyber affiliates of the North Korean government". At the time, officials noted some common code with the "Lazarus Group", which officials had previously blamed on North Korea.

Bossert said that President Trump had "ordered the modernization of government information-technology to enhance the security of the systems we run on behalf of the American people".

Bossert continues in his Op-Ed to tout what he believes are Trump's achievements in the realm of thwarting cyber attacks.

"We also indicted Russian hackers and a Canadian acting in concert with them". In November, the USA also charged three Chinese nationals for hacking, Bossert added. The country has repeatedly denied responsibility for WannaCry and called other allegations about cyber attacks a smear campaign. Whenever possible, we will work with partners, industry and allied governments, who share our market based values.

Last week, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that Washington would be willing to talk to Pyongyang without the precondition of North Korea's denuclearisation, reports Efe news. The four-day joint military drills ended on December 15.



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