Take part: Washington blames Pyongyang for WannaCry cyberattack

21 December, 2017, 01:04 | Author: Chad Mckenzie
  • US Blames North Korea for 'Cowardly' WannaCry Cyberattack

Trump administration publicly attributes WannaCry virus to North Korea, calling the attack "indiscriminately reckless".

"We're going to shame them for it", Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert told reporters during a White House briefing Tuesday, while admitting there is little that can be done to bring specific perpetrators to justice.

The WannaCry virus infected about 200,000 computer systems in 150 countries in mid-May by exploiting vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows, the most widely used operating system in the world. Thomas Bossert, an aide to US President Donald Trump, made the accusation in the Wall Street Journal newspaper.

Bossert asserted that the damage from WannaCry, which did not specifically target the USA, was reduced in the U.S. because "the targets in the United States were harder, so they were suffering less", he said.

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But Mr Napolitano warned the WannaCry malware attack could not justify full-out military action against North Korea as it did not constitute an "invasion" of United States territory. "We do not make this allegation lightly...we do so with evidence and we do so with partners". The two companies moved to disrupt an ongoing malware operation by the Lazarus Group, the threat group attributed to be associated with North Korea, two weeks ago.

The Washington Post reported that the United States has publicly released details of hacking tools used by North Korean hackers and has worked with other nations to restrict Pyongyang's ability to conduct destructive cyberattacks or launch money-making campaigns.

Bossert called on governments and businesses to come together to reduce the risks of cyber attacks and for harsher punishments.

The US government believes with a "very high level of confidence" that North Korea's so-called Lazarus Group was behind the attack, the same group behind the devastating attack on Sony Pictures in 2014 when it released a film depicting the assassination of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.

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But DHS declined to share details on its own strategies, if any exist, to prevent a similar attack from being carried out by a hostile nation-state in the future, claiming the goal of the announcement was to call out North Korea publicly for its actions.

Meanwhile, Microsoft president Brad Smith, in an interview with ITV News at Microsoft's headquarters in Redmond, said Pyongyang was behind the ransomware attack.

The National Security Agency linked North Korea to the worm's creation in June. "It's, nevertheless, important to call them out to let them know that it's them and we know it's them", he said.

"The attack was widespread and cost billions, and North Korea is directly responsible", said Bossert.

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