US Blames North Korea for WannaCry Ransomware Attack

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US Blames North Korea for WannaCry Ransomware Attack

A senior administration official told the Reuters news agency that the White House would issue a formal statement of blame on Tuesday.

"The attack was widespread and cost billions, and North Korea is directly responsible", he wrote.

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 was directly responsible", said Tom Bossert, homeland security advisor to U.S. president Donald Trump in an op-ed piece for the Wall Street Journal.

"Other governments and private companies agree", he wrote.

While the North is believed to run a cyber warfare operation, which has traditionally targeted the South, the regime has repeatedly denied WannaCry allegations. Earlier this month, North Korea said it had successfully tested a breakthrough intercontinental ballistic missile that could place the entire US mainland within range of its nuclear weapons.

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Bossert said that President Trump had "ordered the modernization of government information-technology to enhance the security of the systems we run on behalf of the American people".

Bossert said that North Korea "acted especially badly".

"We also indicted Russian hackers and a Canadian acting in concert with them".

"We brought charges against Iranian hackers who hacked several USA companies, including HBO".

The op-ed called on world governments and businesses to cooperate with the United States to fight cyber threats. The U.S. must lead this effort, rallying allies and responsible tech companies throughout the free world to increase the security and resilience of the internet. "Mr. Trump has already pulled many levers of pressure to address North Korea's unacceptable nuclear and missile developments, and we will continue to use our maximum pressure strategy to curb Pyongyang's ability to mount attacks, cyber or otherwise". As NPR's Bill Chappell reported at the time, WannaCry was found to have "lines of code that are identical to work by hackers known as the Lazarus Group, [which has]. been linked to North Korea, raising suspicions that the nation could be responsible". The four-day joint military drills ended on December 15.

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