Experts question North Korea role in WannaCry cyberattack

Terrell Bush
May 20, 2017

North Korea on Tuesday released a detailed report on the global WannaCry ransomware attack, but kept mum about worldwide suspicions that it might have been behind the destructive hacking.

Chinese state media instead blamed the United States, and said it was "hypocritical" for the USA to accuse China of state-sponsored cyber espionage.

Simon Choi, a director at anti-virus software company Hauri Inc. who has analyzed North Korean malware since 2008 and advises the government on cyberattacks, said the North is no newcomer to the world of bitcoins and has been mining the digital currency using malicious computer programs since as early as 2013.

Though North Korea has never admitted any involvement in the Sony Pictures hack, security researchers and the United States government are confident in the theory and neither can rule out the possibility of a false flag.

The attack includes elements that belong to the US National Security Agency, and were leaked online last month.

"Intezer Labs confirms the #WannaCry was initiated by North Korea".

USA and European security officials told Reuters on condition of anonymity that it was too early to say who might be behind the attacks, but they did not rule out North Korea as a suspect. Private researchers reached a similar conclusion.

He cited a major attack previous year that stole the data of over 10 million users of Interpark, a Seoul-based online shopping site, in which hackers demanded bitcoin payments worth about Dollars 3 million.

"I believe that China will stay true to that and we will come together on how we're going to do that", she said.

But the paper did not comment whether the North had suffered the attack.

In Malaysia, cyber security firm LE Global Services said it identified 12 cases so far, including a large government-linked corporation, a government-linked investment firm and an insurance company. "In one of the cases, the attack was traced back to early April".

Taiwan Power Co. TAIWP.UL said that almost 800 of its computers were affected, although these were used for administration, not for systems involved in electricity generation.

Other reports by TheDigitalNewspaper

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