Monday, 23 July, 2018

White House holds briefing blaming North Korea for WannaCry malware attack

WannaCry cyberattack: US says it has evidence North Korea was 'directly responsible' Trump Administration Blames NKorea for Big Ransomware Attack
Andrew Cummings | 21 December, 2017, 01:08

North Korea's government-backed hackers have been blamed for a rising number of cyber attacks, including the so-called WannaCry cyber attack that crippled hospitals, banks and other companies across the globe this year.

North Korea launched the virus, known as WannaCry, in a "careless and reckless attack" that damaged businesses and put lives at risk, Tom Bossert, the White House homeland security and counterterrorism adviser, told reporters.

Thomas Bossert, counterterrorism adviser to President Trump, said the US has evidence that "cyber affiliates of the North Korean government" were involved in the attack.

Keeping the Russian sanctions as a basis, the United States government will continue to make the internet safer by holding those accountable who harm or threaten it, President's aide wrote. Some see signs that Lazarus itself was involved while others have doubts (see US Government Warns of North Korean Hacking).

"After careful investigation the United States is publicly attributing the massive WannaCry cyber attack to North Korea", announced Brossert. "We are not alone with our findings, either", he wrote. "Other governments and private companies agree", Bossert added.

Stopping malicious behavior like this starts with accountability.

Dmitri Alperovitch, the chief technology officer of the cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike, told me that North Korea is a "very capable actor", and that his firm has tracked the country's cyber activities going back to the mid-2000s.

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Some of those customers were then targeted with so-called spearphishing emails - infected emails created to look as if they were from South Korea's taxation agency, the Korean National Tax Service, he said.

With a "very high level of confidence", the USA government affirmed a hacker group that goes by the name "Lazarus Group", which works for North Korea, carried out the attack. Computers that were affected had not been updated with security patches that would have blocked the attack.

And Judge Napolitano said the rogue nation should expect a "pinprick military response" from the U.S. to destroy its hardware.

Pyongyang had always been suspected of being behind the "WannaCry" attack, which hit entities including the US -based shipping company FedEx, Spanish telecommunications firm Telefonica, and Britain's National Health Service, which forced hospitals to cancel surgeries and divert ambulances to other facilities. Poor coding also led to new infections of WannaCry being blocked after a British security researcher accidentally found the equivalent of a kill switch.

The National Security Agency linked North Korea to the worm's creation in June.

According to a BBC report, Homeland Security Advisor and an aide of President Donald Trump, Thomas Bossert, made the accusations while speaking with the Wall Street Journal.

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