British Security Minister Ben Wallace admitted today that the British government is now certain of the culprits behind the Wannacry malware attack in May of this year, which targeted many European companies.
Mr Wallace stated: “We can be as sure as possible. I obviously can’t go into the detail of intelligence. This attack, we believe quite strongly that this came from a foreign state," before adding that the country involved was indeed "North Korea"
Wannacry was a worldwide ransomware attack on May 2017 which launched a crypto-worm, locking computers that were running on Windows operating systems that had not been updated with the latest patches.
It was unprecedented in its scale, infecting some 200,000 computers across 150 countries. The four most affected countries were Russia, Ukraine, India and Taiwan.
In the UK, the attack affected many National Health Service hospitals in England and Scotland. Up to 70,000 devices, including computers, MRI scanners, blood-storage refrigerators and theatre equipment, were affected. Some NHS services had to turn away non-critical emergencies, and ambulances were diverted.
Some 19,500 medical appointments, including 139 potential cancer referrals had to be cancelled in the following days whilst five hospitals having to divert ambulances away after being locked out of computers.
"It's a salient lesson for us all that all of us, from individuals to governments to large organizations, have a role to play in maintaining the security of our networks," Minister Wallace continued.
“Other countries do have doctrines and military thinking along that line, but the West - the United States, Europe and the United Kingdom - are much more thoughtful about these things because, ultimately, if we were to take some action, we have to remember that some of these states may, as we have seen with this WannaCry, strike out at the rest of our functions."