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United States blames North Korea for major cyber attack

19 December 2017

North Korea is named by Bossert as the culprit in the attack, however, no particular organization or person affiliated with the North Korean government was specifically named in the homeland security advisor's Op-Ed.

North Korea on Tuesday rejected a recent offer by the United States for talks without preconditions, calling it a ploy to make Pyongyang give up its nuclear programme.

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News of the administration's announcement was reported earlier today by The Washington Post, which reports that the White House will be issuing a formal statement tomorrow. It is based on evidence. The official said they had a "very high level of confidence" that hacking outfit Lazarus Group carried out the attack on behalf of the North Korean government. "When we must, the U.S. will act alone to impose costs and consequences for cyber malfeasance", Bossert added.

"Other governments and private companies agree", he wrote. "North Korea has acted especially badly, largely unchecked, for more than a decade, and its malicious behavior is growing more egregious". It also requires governments and businesses to cooperate to mitigate cyber risk and increase the cost to hackers. But it added: "When we must, the USA will act alone to impost costs and consequences for cyber malfeasance".

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According to Bossert, those responsible for the cyber attacks against the U.S. would be held accountable, but did not mention any specifics regarding the actions Washington was considering taking against the rogue state. He also noted that Microsoft did make efforts to disrupt activities by North Korean hackers last week, but Bossert didn't elaborate. Ransomware, which can be used on PCs as well as tablets and smartphones, is malicious software which locks computer files and forces users to pay the attackers a designated sum in the virtual Bitcoin currency to regain access to the files. What made WannaCry particularly devastating was that it managed to spread itself like a computer worm to over 200,000 machines through the use of stolen NSA cyberweapons.

This was enough, at the time, to insinuate North Korea was behind Wannacry, though researchers warned it was "well short of poof, " and that copying snippets of code is not uncommon among unrelated hacker groups.

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United States blames North Korea for major cyber attack