January 21, 2018

Trump official claims North Korea to blame for WannaCry cyber attack

19 December 2017, 10:54 | Kara Nash

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The WannaCry attack struck more than 150 nations in May, locking up digital documents, databases and other files and demanding a ransom for their release.

North Korea is named by Bossert as the culprit in the attack, however, no particular organization or person affiliated with the North Korean government was specifically named in the homeland security advisor's Op-Ed.

The offer of dialogue without strings attached appeared to offer a way through an impasse that has lasted for years, during which North Korea's rogue development of nukes has allowed it to threaten the US mainland with greater credibility than ever before. Now, seven months later, we finally know who was behind the widespread ransomware campaign: North Korea.

The US has evidence for the claim, and the United Kingdom and Microsoft reached similar conclusions in their analyses of the attack, which plagued computers the world over in May, he wrote.

Bossert said the USA would "publicly attribute" WannaCry to North Korea, describing the attack as "cowardly, costly and careless". "North Korea has acted especially badly, largely unchecked, for more than a decade, and its malicious behavior is growing more egregious", he wrote for the Wall Street Journal on Monday. "When we must, the United States will act alone to impose costs and consequences for cyber malfeasance", Bossert added. Government offices in Russia, Spain, and several other countries were disrupted, as were Asian universities, Germany's national railway and global companies such as automakers Nissan and Renault.

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A hacking group called Lazarus - said to be behind an $81 million hit on the Central Bank of Bangladesh and a 2014 attack on Sony Hollywood studios - is suspected to be a North Korean-backed group.

"The consequences and repercussions of WannaCry were beyond economic", he wrote.

"We brought charges against Iranian hackers who hacked several USA companies, including HBO".

Within days of the attack in May, North Korea fell under suspicion. According to the piece, the Trump administration "will continue to use our maximum pressure strategy to curb Pyongyang's ability to mount attacks, cyber or otherwise".

North Korea has reportedly denied any involvement with WannaCry.

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