N Korea denies role in WannaCry ransomware attack

Kristopher Drake
December 22, 2017

The United States is preparing for a military attack on North Korea, the British Telegraph newspaper reported on Wednesday, citing "well-placed sources". Diplomatic efforts to quell the threats and denuclearize North Korea have failed to move the needle on the situation's urgency.

Bossert said Tuesday in a press briefing the attribution of the ransomware, dubbed WannaCry, to the East Asian country is based on "careful investigation" in collaboration with private companies and other global governments such as the U.K., Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Japan.

The cyberattack in mid-May affected more than 200,000 victims across 150 countries. The May cyber attack crippled hospitals, banks and other companies.

Said to be a "low-ranking" soldier, he was the second North Korean service member to defect to the South in the last few months.

Last month, the former head of British spy agency GCHQ, Robert Hannigan, warned hackers with ties to North Korea will continue to devastate the United Kingdom with cyberattacks over the next 12 months.

Kim Jong Un said earlier this month that his scientists would continue making "more latest weapons and equipment" in order to "bolster up the nuclear force in quality and quantity", North Korea's state-run news agency said.

North Korean hackers have also been accused of a cyberattack on South Korean bitcoin exchange Youbit, which filed for bankruptcy this week as a result of the attack.

Sources told the Telegraph that one option could be destroying a missile launch site before it can be used, or destroying stockpiles of weapons, it reported. On May 12, when the USA government first learned of the malware attack, the Department of Homeland Security called upon its "domestic-industry partnership" and worked with major ISPs, federal CIOs and the IT and cybersecurity industry to issue a public alert and stave off worse impacts, said Jeanette Manfra, secretary for cybersecurity and communications at the DHS, at the briefing.

"We are monitoring the bitcoin-related issue".

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