North Korea tensions ratchet up over WannaCry attack

North Korea tensions ratchet up over WannaCry attack

In an op-ed published in The Wall Street Journal, Homeland Security Advisor Tom Bessert wrote that North Korea was "directly responsible" for the malware that "cost billions".

Those who remember May's attack, which locked down the systems of hospitals, banks, and other companies across the U.S., might recall Marcus Hutchins-a 22-year-old hacker known as MalwareTech-was credited with stopping the spread of WannaCry.

He called on governments and companies around the world to cooperate to mitigate cyber risk, and said the US should lead the effort. Bossert now says the evidence is conclusive.

The last time that the United States publicly blamed a foreign government for a cyberattack came when the Obama administration said Russian Federation had launched a cyber and influence campaign targeting the 2016 US presidential election. She and Bossert urged more cooperation and information-sharing from American and multinational companies, arguing a united front is vital to protecting against bad actors who do not differentiate between government and business.

Manfra praised Microsoft and Facebook for their efforts to combat WannaCry and to block more recent attempts to hack US systems.

Meanwhile Microsoft president Brad Smith has suspected that the theft to "the USA military having some of its Tomahawk missiles stolen", and argued that intelligence agencies should disclose such vulnerabilities rather than hoarding them.

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"The United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Japan have seen our analysis and the join us in denouncing North Korea for WannaCry".

WannaCry came to a screeching halt thanks to enterprising work by a British hacker named Marcus Hutchins, who discovered that the malware's author had embedded a "kill switch" in the code. He was able to trip the switch and the attack ended. In an unusual twist, Hutchins was arrested months later by the Federal Bureau of Investigation during a visit to the US; he pleaded not guilty and now awaits trial on charges he created unrelated forms of malware.

"The only way to do that is to squeeze the revenue streams that generate hard cash for Kim and his government", said Jim Lewis, a former State Department official and cybersecurity expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, referring to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

A South Korean lawmaker in October said North Korean hackers stole highly classified military documents that include U.S.

There's speculation in the South that North Korean hackers are possibly targeting cryptocurrency like bitcoin to evade the heavy financial sanctions imposed over the country's nuclear weapons and missiles program.

Bossert said those responsible for carrying out cyber-attacks against the U.S. would be held accountable, but he did not mention specific actions Washington was considering taking against Pyongyang.

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