U.S. to accuse North Korea of 'WannaCry' cyber attack

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In Monday's commentary, KCNA referenced warnings of the cost and devastation of a US miscalculation on North Korea by Defense Priorities foreign policy expert and former CATO Institute defense policy head Charles Peña, which appeared in The National Interest and RealClearDefense earlier this year, as well as a recent letter by dozens of retired military officials advising Trump that "military options must not be the preferred course of action", reported by The Washington Post.

The U.S. must "act urgently" to enforce existing sanctions and take further steps with regional allies like South Korea and Japan to convince North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un to abandon his weapons program, McMaster said in an interview with PBS NewsHour's Judy Woodruff.

"The attack was widespread and cost billions, and North Korea is directly responsible", Tom Bossert, homeland security adviser to Donald Trump, wrote in an op-ed piece for the Wall Street Journal. "We are alleging that all the activity occurred offshore, and was purely another attempt for this man to trade goods and services as a way to raise revenue for the government of North Korea", he said. Bossert's op-ed publicly confirms the NSA's findings with support from evidence gathered by foreign governments, independent cybersecurity firms, and corporations directly hit by the attack.

"Other governments and private companies agree", he wrote.

In May 2017, the global WannaCry cyber attack targeted computers around the world that used the Windows operating system. Its authors demanded ransom payments and threatened to delete victims' data if they didn't pay up.

Stopping malicious behavior like this starts with accountability.

South Korea's total trade volume was put at $902 billion, nearly 140 times the North's $6.5 billion.

Kaspersky CEO Eugene Kaspersky has denied being part of any nefarious plot with the Russian government to spy on Western countries, and stated in November: "If the Russian government comes to me and asks me to anything wrong, or my employees, I will move the business out of Russia". "If those hackers travel, we will arrest them and bring them to justice". Whenever possible, we will work with partners, industry and allied governments, who share our market based values.

Bossert closes out his article by stating that North Korea "continues to threaten America, Europe and the rest of the world - and not just with its nuclear aspirations".

News reports quoted a senior Trump administration official as saying that the U.S. had surmised "with a very high level of confidence" that the Lazarus Group, a hacking organisation that works on behalf of the North Korean government, was behind the WannaCry ransomware attack. The four-day joint military drills ended on December 15.

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