North Korea was behind the WannaCry cyberattacks, says the White House

Posted December 19, 2017

The malware infected more than 300,000 computers in 150 countries.

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. As NPR's Bill Chappell reported at the time, WannaCry was found to have "lines of code that are identical to work by hackers known as the Lazarus Group, [which has] ... been linked to North Korea, raising suspicions that the nation could be responsible".

Pointing to threats outside of North Korea, Bossert said preventing similarly massive cyber incidents would take concentrated effort and that President Donald Trump had taken steps in the right direction, such as ordering the modernization of government information technology to enhance the security of USA computer systems and the sharing of software vulnerabilities with developers.

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"The attack was widespread and cost billions, and North Korea is directly responsible", Bossert writes. He wrote that while North Korean cyberattacks have been going on "largely unchecked" for about a decade, such activity has grown "more egregious" and WannaCry was "indiscriminately reckless". "It is based on evidence". "When we must, the USA will act alone to impose costs and consequences for cyber malfeasance", Bossert added.

The vulnerability was first discovered by the National Security Agency (NSA), which wrote WannaCrypt, the ransomware used in the attack. The malware targeted several hospitals in the United Kingdom, as well as banks and various other infrastructures and companies worldwide, causing malfunctions in critical sectors. A few weeks ago, we charged three Chinese nationals for hacking, theft of trade secrets and identity theft.

Ahead of the claims about North Korea being responsible for the WannaCry attack, on Monday, the U.S. military released photos of massive joint drills it underwent recently with its ally South Korea, and have called the exercise 'Warrior Strike IX'.

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He said that the administration would continue to use its "maximum pressure strategy to curb Pyongyang's ability to mount attacks, cyber or otherwise".

In recent years, the objective of North Korean cyber crime has shifted from intelligence gathering and stealing strategic information to stealing funds from foreign financial institutions, reports Reuters, reflecting a new reality for the dictatorship as it fights to get out from under a smothering blanket of sanctions.

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