President Donald Trump’s administration declared that North Korea should be blamed for the destructive massive ransomware attack that hit hundreds of thousands of computers worldwide in May. So huge was the impact than to the infected computers that even crippled parts of Britain’s National Health Service.
Tom Bossert, the Homeland Security adviser, wrote an opinion piece in Wall Street Journal published on Monday night. He said North Korea was directly responsible for the Wannacry ransomware attack. He stated that Kim Jong-un’s regime should be held accountable for the act and the massive destruction it caused.
WannaCry left such a massive amount of damage as it managed to infect more than 300,000 machines in over 150 countries in a matter of only a few days. The worse part is that it paralyzed even sensitive operations like hospitals.
WannaCry specifically targeted Windows-run machines and blocked legitimate users from accessing their files unless they agree to pay the obscene amount in ransom payment, hence the infamous moniker for the attack- “ransomware.”
Bossert based his claims on evidence. He also said that other governments and private companies including the United Kingdom and tech giant Microsoft confirmed that Pyongyang is behind the cyber attacks.
Bossert’s assertion marks the first time that a U.S. government official has directly pinned the blame on North Korea. Bossert wrote in his opinion piece: “After careful investigation, the U.S. today publicly attributes the massive “WannaCry” cyberattack to North Korea. We do not make this allegation lightly. It is based on evidence. We are not alone in our findings, either. Other governments and private companies agree. The United Kingdom attributes the attack to North Korea, and Microsoft traced the attack to cyber affiliates of the North Korean government.”
Bossert added that: “North Korea has acted badly, largely unchecked, for more than a decade, and its malicious behavior is growing more egregious. “WannaCry was indiscriminately reckless.”
North Korea has denied in the past its involvement in the said attacks.
Bossert said that the Trump administration will continue employing “its maximum pressure strategy to curb Pyongyang’s ability to mount attacks, cyber or otherwise.”
The White House is expected to release a statement on the issue following Bossert’s piece, validating his claims.