WannaCry cyber attack: North Korea was 'directly responsible'

WannaCry cyber attack: North Korea was 'directly responsible'

"The public opinion opposed to the preemptive attack is getting stronger in the U.S. It can be viewed as a sort of advice that the U.S. administration should drop the adventurous and risky way of thinking and boldly make a U-turn in its policy toward the DPRK", the commentary read, referring to North Korea by an acronym for its official name-the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

British security officials suspected that North Korea was behind the WannaCry attacks, linking them to a group called Lazarus that was also behind the 2014 cyberattacks on Sony Pictures, the BBC reported in June.

Thomas Bossert, an aide to US President Donald Trump, made the accusation in the Wall Street Journal newspaper.

"The attack was widespread and cost billions, and North Korea was directly responsible", said Tom Bossert, homeland security advisor to United States president Donald Trump in an op-ed piece for the Wall Street Journal.

While the North is believed to run a cyber warfare operation, which has traditionally targeted the South, the regime has repeatedly denied WannaCry allegations.

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The malware spread to thousands of computers in over 150 countries, encrypting data and demanding BitCoin payments as ransom.

"The attack was widespread and cost billions, and North Korea is directly responsible", Bossert wrote. "If those hackers travel, we will arrest them and bring them to justice". It also requires governments and businesses to cooperate to mitigate cyber risk and increase the cost to hackers. In November, the U.S. also charged three Chinese nationals for hacking, Bossert added. Whenever possible, we will work with partners, industry and allied governments, who share our market based values.

Lazarus Group is widely believed by security researchers and US officials to have been responsible for the 2014 hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment, which destroyed files, leaked corporate communications online and led to the departure of several top studio executives.

What the point of this blame will be remains uncertain, other than piling on amid rising tensions with North Korea. According to the piece, the Trump administration "will continue to use our maximum pressure strategy to curb Pyongyang's ability to mount attacks, cyber or otherwise". It said the Central Intelligence Agency had already laid blame on North Korea for the attack in November, though the assessment was classified and had not yet been previously reported. The four-day joint military drills ended on December 15.

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