North Korea is behind the WannaCry cyberattack that plagued multiple industries earlier this year - including hospitals, financial systems and other companies - according to an op-ed published Monday night by White House homeland security adviser Tom Bossert.
The administration is calling on the private sector to do more to prevent such incidents, Bossert said, adding that Microsoft and others had taken action last week to disrupt North Korean hacking efforts. "The United Kingdom attributes the attack to North Korea, and Microsoft traced the attack to cyber affiliates of the North Korean government".
The malware spread to thousands of computers in over 150 countries, encrypting data and demanding BitCoin payments as ransom. Now, seven months later, we finally know who was behind the widespread ransomware campaign: North Korea.
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"After careful investigation, the USA today publicly attributes the massive "WannaCry" cyberattack to North Korea", Bessert writes. He noted that the Trump administration has banned the use of Kaspersky software from government systems over concerns that the software could abet Russian espionage, and that the government has also charged Iranian hackers who attacked United States companies such as HBO.
Bossert said that the U.S. has concrete evidence for the claim.
The Washington Post cited a U.S. official as saying Trump's administration would be urging allies to counter North Korea's cyberattack capabilities and implement all "relevant" UN Security Council sanctions.
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"We brought charges against Iranian hackers who hacked several USA companies, including HBO".
According to Bossert, those responsible for the cyber attacks against the USA would be held accountable, but did not mention any specifics regarding the actions Washington was considering taking against the rogue state.
Bossert closes out his article by stating that North Korea "continues to threaten America, Europe and the rest of the world - and not just with its nuclear aspirations". "These disruptions put lives at risk", Bossert wrote. 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.
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Looking ahead, Bessert writes that the US will take steps to curtail North Korea's "ability to mount attacks, cyber or otherwise".