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US Blames North Korea for WannaCry Cyber Attack

US Blames North Korea for WannaCry Cyber AttackUS Blames North Korea for WannaCry Cyber Attack

The Trump administration has publicly blamed North Korea for unleashing the so-called WannaCry cyber attack that crippled hospitals, banks and other companies across the globe earlier this year.

“The attack was widespread and cost billions, and North Korea is directly responsible,” Tom Bossert, homeland security adviser to President Donald Trump, wrote in a piece published on Monday night in the Wall Street Journal, Reuters reported.

“North Korea has acted especially badly, largely unchecked, for more than a decade, and its malicious behavior is growing more egregious,” Bossert wrote. “WannaCry was indiscriminately reckless.”

North Korean government representatives could not be immediately reached for comment. The country has repeatedly denied responsibility for WannaCry and called other allegations about cyber attacks a smear campaign.

The accusation comes as worries mount about North Korea’s hacking capabilities and its nuclear weapons program.

Many security researchers, including the cyber firm Symantec, as well as the British government, have already concluded that North Korea was likely behind the WannaCry attack, which quickly unfurled across the globe in May to infect more than 300,000 computers in 150 countries.

Considered unprecedented in scale at the time, WannaCry knocked British hospitals offline, forcing thousands of patients to reschedule appointments and disrupted infrastructure and businesses around the world.

The attack originally looked like a ransomware campaign, where hackers encrypt a targeted computer and demand payment to recover files. Some experts later concluded the ransom threat may have been a distraction intended to disguise a more destructive intent.

WannaCry was made possible by a flaw in Microsoft’s Windows software, which was discovered by the US National Security Agency and then used by the NSA to build a hacking tool for its own use.

In a devastating NSA security breach, that hacking tool and others were published online by the Shadow Brokers, a mysterious group that regularly posts cryptic taunts toward the US government.

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