Daily Management Review

U.S. Officially Blames North Korea For The Global Cyber Attack By WannaCry


U.S. Officially Blames North Korea For The Global Cyber Attack By WannaCry
The United States has officially blamed North Korea to be behind the WannaCry computer worm attach that impacted and crippled more than 230,000 computers in over 150 countries. This acknowledgement was publicly made by the Trump administration on Monday evening.
“The [WannaCry] attack was widespread and cost billions, and North Korea is directly responsible,” Thomas P. Bossert, Trump’s homeland security adviser, said in an op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal on Monday. “We do not make this allegation lightly. It is based on evidence. We are not alone with our findings, either.”
The WannaCry worm impacted individuals, businesses and governments globally while risking the lives and money of people, said Bossert on Tuesday at the White House and described the WannaCry attack as “a defining moment”.
“This was a reckless attack and it was meant to cause havoc and destruction,” he said at a news conference. “I think, at this point, North Korea has demonstrated that they want to hold the entire world at risk, whether it be through its nuclear program or cyberattacks,” he added while linking North Korea’s alleged cyber activities to its nuclear weapon development program.
There are limited options remaining with the U.Ss. with respect to forcing North Korea to alter its behavior, Bossert said. North Korea is a country that has the highest levels off international sanctions. Despite that North Korea needs to be identified publicly, he said.
On Dec. 19, the Trump administration said North Korea is behind the WannaCry cyberattack that crippled hospitals, banks and other companies across the world. (Reuters)
“We’re going to hold them accountable and we’re going to say it and we’re going to shame them for it,” Bossert said.
Even when the WannaCry attacks happened, experts have suspected that North Korea was behind the creation and spreading of the virus. It was used together with ransomware which encrypted the data on the infected computers and demanded ransom for restoring the access to the computers. There had bene no public acknowledgement of the same by the U.S. government up till now.
In a statement Tuesday, Britain’s Foreign Office said: “The indiscriminate use of the WannaCry ransomware demonstrates North Korean actors using their cyber programme to circumvent sanctions.”
The Foreign Office added that “the decision to publicly attribute this incident sends a clear message that the U.K. and its allies will not tolerate malicious cyber activity.”
While issuing a serious call to a wide range of U.S. companies for helping out the government to secure the country from preventing such further attacks, Bossert applauded Facebook and Microsoft’s efforts of disabling North Korean accounts last week.
Here is what you need to know about ransomware: software that locks down your files and demands payment to release them. (Sarah Parnass, Dani Player, Daron Taylor/The Washington Post)
“Some say that defending cyberspace is impossible and that hackers are inevitable,” Bossert said. “I disagree. . . . Government and industry must work together, now more than ever, if we are serious.”
U.S. officials said that the U.S. government has been closely functioning with other countries for reducing the potential for North Korea to undertake more tests and create illegal funding and the government has also made public technical details of North Korean cyber tools and their operational infrastructures.
The global level cyberattacks have indicated a pattern that is disrupting and harmful and engaged by the rogue country. With the aim of rattling the nerves off more powerful nations and to cause damage to their national systems, hacker forces have been developed by North Korea’s military ruler Kim Jong Un. This strategy is low-cost but has a high impact.
“President Trump is handling the intelligence assessments regarding North Korea and Russia completely differently, staging an elaborate media rollout to press on sanctions against North Korea while at the same time discrediting the assessment by these very same intelligence agencies that the Kremlin interfered with our election,” said Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (Md.), the ranking Democrat on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.