Trump Administration Says NK Responsible for Huge Ransomware Attack

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In a press briefing from the White House Tuesday, Bossert said the North Korean regime has been acting especially bad in the past decade when it comes to hacking in foreign nations. "The United Kingdom attributes the attack to North Korea, and Microsoft traced the attack to cyber affiliates of the North Korean government", Bossert stated.

He writes: "We do not make this allegation lightly. It is based on evidence". "We are not alone with our findings, either", he wrote.

Intelligence officials have historically cautioned that making such accusations could reveal secret information or free up other countries to call out the US over its digital espionage operations.

In response to a question from a reporter, Bossert said that government cooperation would obviously include cooperation with "countries bordering North Korea"-meaning mostly China-to help to deny North Korea's agents the ability to run cyber-attacks from outside of their country".

Last week Microsoft, working together with Facebook and others in the security community, took strong steps to protect our customers and the internet from ongoing attacks by an advanced persistent threat actor known to us as ZINC, also known as the Lazarus Group. "Other governments and private companies agree", Bossert added. "The attack was widespread and cost billions, and North Korea is directly responsible", he said.

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Some of those customers were then targeted with so-called spearphishing emails - infected emails created to look as if they were from South Korea's taxation agency, the Korean National Tax Service, he said. In June, the BBC also reported that a government source told it that the U.K.'s GCHQ intelligence agency believed Pyongyang was behind WannaCry.

It was not immediately clear if any action was being taken by USA authorities against North Korea following the findings.

"It is increasingly using cyberattacks to fund its reckless behavior and cause disruption across the world", Bossert said. The hackers also demanded a $300 bitcoin ransom from each of their victims within a span of 72 hours or threatened to raise the ransom price and lock the data permanently. "It's, nevertheless, important to call them out to let them know that it's them and we know it's them", he said.

North Korea's Kim Jong-un has been engaging Mr Trump in a continuously escalating war of words which experts claim is putting the world on the brink of World War 3. What we did was, rely on - and some of it I can't share, unfortunately - technical links to previously identified North Korean cyber tools, tradecraft, operational infrastructure.

According to a BBC report, Homeland Security Advisor and an aide of President Donald Trump, Thomas Bossert, made the accusations while speaking with the Wall Street Journal.