North Korea 'directly responsible' for massive WannaCry cyberattack, says US

Saul Bowman
December 21, 2017

Bossert, who advises the president on homeland security, said the allegation was "based on evidence" and said that the United Kingdom and computer firm Microsoft also blamed affiliates of the North Korean government for the attack. "We are not alone with our findings, either", he added.

The briefing is expected to start at 9:00 a.m. EST.

"While I would not characterize them as the best in the world, they are among the best in the world and the best organized", Army General Vincent Brooks, commander of U.S. Forces Korea, said of North Korea's cyberwarfare capabilities previous year.

The NSA (and later, the CIA) arrived at the same conclusions about WannaCry months ago, and one wonders what Bossert hopes to accomplish by relitigating an 8-month-old cyber attack.

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". "Facebook took down accounts that stopped the operational execution of ongoing cyber attacks", he said, and "Microsoft acted to patch existing attacks". "It's nevertheless important to call them out, let them know it's them and we know it's them".

Manfra praised Microsoft and Facebook for their efforts to combat WannaCry and to block more recent attempts to hack USA systems.

Timing-wise, the USA government imposed stronger sanctions on North Korea last month over the country's nuclear and ballistic missile programs, and it's likely that it's now seeking further diplomatic leverage.

And Judge Napolitano said the rogue nation should expect a "pinprick military response" from the United States to destroy its hardware.

"It is increasingly using cyberattacks to fund its reckless behavior and cause disruption across the world", Bossert said. The program demanded a ransom to unlock access to files stored on infected machines. "The attack was widespread and cost billions, and North Korea is directly responsible".

HR McMaster said: "I don't want to get into the specifics of military plans and estimates but I will tell you that the President has asked us to continue to refine our military option should we have to use it".

The National Security Agency linked North Korea to the worm's creation in June.

Bossert and Jeanette Manfra, assistant secretary of homeland security for cybersecurity and communication, said the United States, through a combination of preparation and luck, escaped the worst of the attack, as a patch to the malware was found before USA companies and other interests were severely crippled.

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