US blames N Korea for ‘WannaCry’ cyber attack

US blames N Korea for ‘WannaCry’ cyber attack

WASHINGTON - Reuters
US blames N 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 late on Dec. 18 in the Wall Street Journal.

“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.”

The White House was expected to follow up with a more formal statement blaming Pyongyang, according to a senior administration official.

The U.S. government has assessed with a “very high level of confidence” that a hacking entity known as Lazarus Group, which works on behalf of the North Korean government, carried out the WannaCry attack, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss details of the government’s investigation.

Lazarus Group is widely believed by security researchers and U.S. officials to have been responsible for the 2014 hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment that destroyed files, leaked corporate communications online and led to the departure of several top studio executives.

WannaCry, Tom Bossert, Lazarus Group, cyber, cyber attack, North Korea, US