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USA blames North Korea for major cyber attack

19 December 2017, 11:03 | Gina Pena

USA blames North Korea for major cyber attack

US says North Korea 'directly responsible' for 'WannaCry' ransomware attack

"The United Kingdom attributes the attack to North Korea, and Microsoft traced the attack to cyber affiliates of the North Korean government".

A senior White House official claimed North Korea was responsible for a cyberattack that paralyzed hospitals, banks and companies worldwide in May.

"After careful investigation, the United States today publicly attributes the massive "WannaCry" cyberattack to North Korea", Bossert wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed.

Last week, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that Washington would be willing to talk to Pyongyang without the precondition of North Korea's denuclearisation, reports Efe news.

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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"Bossert goes on to say: "[WannaCry] encrypted and rendered useless hundreds of thousands of computers. while victims received ransom demands, paying did not unlock their computers.

"Malicious hackers belong in prison, and totalitarian governments should pay a price for their actions", he said.

Bossert named one Russian-based tech company by name when alluding to alleged meddling by Russia against the USA, and wrote that in 2017, "the Trump administration ordered the removal of all Kaspersky software from government systems. If those hackers travel, we will arrest them and bring them to justice".

According to Bossert, those responsible for the cyber attacks against the U.S. would be held accountable, but did not mention any specifics regarding the actions Washington was considering taking against the rogue state. Whenever possible, we will work with partners, industry and allied governments, who share our market based values. 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. "These disruptions put lives at risk", Bossert wrote. 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".

Late on Monday, the Trump administration officially cast blame for WannaCry on North Korea. The four-day joint military drills ended on December 15.



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