US blames North Korea for WannaCry cyber-attack

Hours before President Donald Trump unveiled a new national security strategy with focus on cyber defence on Monday, the US blamed North Korea for the WannaCry attack in May this year which infected around 300,000 computers and affected businesses in 150 countries.

North Korea was directly responsible for the spread of WannaCry ransomware which hit businesses, schools and hospitals, cost billions and put lives at risk, wrote Homeland Security Advisor Tom Bossert in a Wall Street Journal article adding the government has solid evidence to support its claim.

To ensure internet security, he called for cooperation among countries and companies to block cyber-attacks and also suggested imposition of massive penalty on hackers. He said Trump may act as tool kits of totalitarian regimes are too threatening to ignore.

Britain’s National Health Service (NHS), Spanish telecoms company Telefonica and US logistics company FedEx were among businesses affected by WannaCry ransomware.

“These disruptions put lives at risk,” Bossert wrote in the 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.”

Ransomware locks computer files and forces users to pay up the attackers to regain access to the files.