The US administration has openly accused North Korea of being behind the WannaCry cyber attack that hit hospitals, banks and companies around the world earlier this year. Homeland security advisor to President Trump, Tom Bossert, told the Wall Street Journal that the WannaCry attack was an ‘indiscriminately reckless’ act from North Korea.
“The attack was widespread and cost billions, and North Korea is directly responsible,” Bossert wrote in a piece published on Monday night in the Wall Street Journal. “North Korea has acted especially badly, largely unchecked, for more than a decade, and its malicious behaviour is growing more egregious. WannaCry was indiscriminately reckless.”
According to Bossert, the US government has concluded that a hacking group known as Lazarus Group, which works on behalf of the North Korean government, carried out the WannaCry attack. It is the same group thought to be behind the 2014 hack of Sony Pictures that led to files being destroyed and corporate emails being leaked. North Korea has repeatedly denied responsibility for WannaCry and called other allegations about cyber attacks a smear campaign.
Microsoft president Brad Smith slammed governments around the world over their inadequate cyber defence policies, following the WannaCry outbreak. Smith’s comments came in the wake of the massive ransomware attack that caused damage to the NHS and other major public and private organisations across the world, this weekend.
The Microsoft president said it should be a much-awaited ‘wake-up call’ for governments as, security officials attempt to find who was behind the attack which affected around 300,000 computer users, closed factories, disrupted hospitals and interrupted schools across the globe.
“The governments of the world should treat this attack as a wake-up call,” Smith wrote on the company’s blog. “We need governments to consider the damage to civilians that comes from hoarding these vulnerabilities and the use of these exploits. An equivalent scenario with conventional weapons would be the US military having some of its Tomahawk missiles stolen.”