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21 December 2017, 01:07 | Damon Campbell
WannaCry cyberattack: US says it has evidence North Korea was 'directly responsible'
"After careful investigation, the US today publicly attributes the massive "WannaCry" cyberattack to North Korea".
"We do not make this allegation lightly", White House Homeland Security advisor Tom Bossert said in a briefing Tuesday. Security industry researchers and analysts for other governments (including the United Kingdom's GCHQ and Canada's Communications Security Establishment) have pointed the finger at North Korea as the most likely source of the attack for months.
Nevertheless, he cast accountability as an important step.
"We believe that some of the criminal activity we are observing originating from North Korea is a result of the regime looking for alternative sources of revenue", she said. We share nearly all the vulnerabilities we find with developers, allowing them to create patches.
The public shaming of North Korea, which has not been confirmed by the White House, is created to hold the regime accountable for its actions and "erode and undercut their ability to launch attacks", the official told Reuters on condition of anonymity.
"It is increasingly using cyberattacks to fund its reckless behavior and cause disruption across the world", Bossert said.
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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. "The indiscriminate use of the WannaCry ransomware demonstrates North Korean actors using their cyber programme to circumvent sanctions".
Bossert and Jeanette Manfra, assistant secretary of homeland security for cybersecurity and communication, said the United States, through a combination of preparation and luck, escaped the worst of the attack, as a patch to the malware was found before USA companies and other interests were severely crippled. Other governments and private companies agree. While the attack cost organisations billions, it didn't generate much ransom, perhaps as little as $200,000. "It also requires governments and businesses to cooperate to mitigate cyber risk and increase the cost to hackers".
From there, the attackers would access the user's bitcoin wallet either on the computer, or on the bitcoin exchange's server, he said.
The official applauded the work of Microsoft, Facebook and what he called "other corporate partners" for acting on their own, without government coordination, to disrupt another North Korean hacking attempt last week.
Now tell us something we didn't already know.
The U.S.is not the first one to accuse North Korea of being the mastermind of the attack.
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