Trump Aide Blames N. Korea for 'Costly' Cyberattack

'We do not make this allegation lightly'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 19, 2017 1:05 AM CST
In this May 15, 2017, photo, employees watch electronic boards monitoring possible ransomware cyberattacks at the Korea Internet and Security Agency in Seoul, South Korea.   (Yun Dong-jin/Yonhap via AP, File)
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(Newser) – It's official, according to Trump aide Thomas Bossert: The US publicly blames the massive "WannaCry" ransomware attack earlier this year on North Korea. "We do not make this allegation lightly. It is based on evidence," Bossert writes in the Wall Street Journal. He accuses Pyongyang of being "directly responsible" for the "cowardly, costly, and careless" attack that hit hundreds of thousands of computers in more than 100 countries. "We are not alone with our findings, either. Other governments and private companies agree," Bossert writes. "The United Kingdom attributes the attack to North Korea, and Microsoft traced the attack to cyber affiliates of the North Korean government."

"North Korea has acted especially badly, largely unchecked, for more than a decade, and its malicious behavior is growing more egregious," writes Bossert, who says Pyongyang must be held accountable. The May attack froze computers around the world. Users were asked to pay a ransom to unlock them, but those who paid up didn't have their data restored. A senior administration source tells Reuters that the US government has determined with a "very high level of confidence" that the Pyongyang-linked Lazarus Group was behind the attack and that the White House will make a more formal statement Tuesday.

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