Trump official claims North Korea to blame for WannaCry cyber attack

Posted December 19, 2017

The United States is publicly blaming North Korea for unleashing a cyber attack that crippled hospitals, banks and other companies across the globe earlier this year.

The attack is said to have hit more than 300,000 computers in 150 nations, causing billions of dollars of damage.

North Korea was "directly responsible" for the WannaCry ransomware cyberattack in May, according to Tom Bossert, homeland security adviser to US President Donald Trump, in an op-ed published by the Wall Street Journal on Monday.

A Trump official claims in an op-ed that the USA has proof that it was North Korea behind the WannaCry cyber attack, citing a "careful investigation".

"After careful investigation, the US today publicly attributes the massive "WannaCry" cyberattack to North Korea", Bessert writes.

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Trump's announcement was denounced by critics who suggested he had needlessly stirred more conflict in an already volatile region. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the guard sustained a serious wound to his upper body and the attacker was apprehended.

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North Korea on Tuesday rejected a recent offer by the USA for talks without preconditions, calling it a ploy to make Pyongyang give up its nuclear programme. "We believe that North Korea is now engaging in various activities to evade sanctions and earn foreign currency", Baik said. "It is based on evidence". He wrote that while North Korean cyberattacks have been going on "largely unchecked" for about a decade, such activity has grown "more egregious" and WannaCry was "indiscriminately reckless".

"The consequences and repercussions of WannaCry were beyond economic", he wrote. "We are not alone with our findings, either". Government offices in Russia, Spain, and several other countries were disrupted, as were Asian universities, Germany's national railway and global companies such as automakers Nissan and Renault. In November, the U.S. also charged three Chinese nationals for hacking, Bossert added.

Days after the assault, security researchers began to suspect North Korea was behind the attack.

North Korea "will not budge" away from developing nuclear weapons as Pyongyang's state-run media criticized the United States for an insincere offer of dialogue Tuesday. "Mr. Trump has already pulled many levers of pressure to address North Korea's unacceptable nuclear and missile developments, and we will continue to use our maximum pressure strategy to curb Pyongyang's ability to mount attacks, cyber or otherwise".