Trump Administration Says NK Responsible for Huge Ransomware Attack

Randolph Lopez
December 21, 2017

"After careful investigation, the United States today publicly attributes the massive "WannaCry" cyberattack to North Korea", White House Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert wrote in an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal newspaper on Tuesday.

White House National Security Advisor Tom Bossert made the assertion public in an op-ed published late Monday in The Wall Street Journal and in a press conference this morning.

The public shaming of the state, which has not been confirmed by the White House, is created to hold the North accountable for its actions and "erode and undercut their ability to launch attacks", the official said.

"Cooperation between industry and good governments will bring improved security, and we can no longer afford to wait", he said.

As cyberattacks take aim at larger targets and higher ransoms, and with the price of bitcoin spiking, CrowdStrike CEO George Kurtz said there's "absolutely" reason to believe North Korea has an appreciating pile of bitcoin to fund future attacks. "We are not alone with our findings, either", he explained. "Stopping malicious behavior like this starts with accountability", Bossert said.

North Korea's Kim Jong-un has been engaging Mr Trump in a continuously escalating war of words which experts claim is putting the world on the brink of World War 3.

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Last week Microsoft, working together with Facebook and others in the security community, took strong steps to protect our customers and the internet from ongoing attacks by an advanced persistent threat actor known to us as ZINC, also known as the Lazarus Group. "Other governments and private companies agree", Bossert wrote.

With sanctions already in place and North Korea's extremely limited exposure to a response in kind all but ruling out a "cyber" response, there are few points of leverage for the USA government to extract any change in behavior from the North Korean government.

But following accusations from Theresa May's security minister Ben Wallace, North Korea hit back saying the statement was "despicable" and "an act beyond the limit of our tolerance".

Cybersecurity researchers from Symantec and Kaspersky Lab have said that some code in an earlier version of the WannaCry software had appeared in programmes used by the Lazarus Group, which researchers from many companies have identified as a North Korea-run hacking operation. "We're going to shame them for it".

HR McMaster said: "I don't want to get into the specifics of military plans and estimates but I will tell you that the President has asked us to continue to refine our military option should we have to use it". He was able to trip the switch and the attack ended. But as far as direct measures against North Korea go, the US' options are very limited.

He said the United Kingdom is determined to identify, pursue and respond to malicious cyber activity regardless of where it originates, imposing costs on those who wish to attack us in cyberspace.

Other reports by GlobalViralNews

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