US Directly Blames North Korea for WannaCry Cyberattack

White House

The White House under President Trump’s administration has blamed North Korea behind WannaCry – the sweeping ransomware outbreak that infected hundreds of thousands of computers around the world.

In an op-ed on the Wall Street Journal, Homeland Security adviser Tom Bossert, assistant to the American president for homeland security and counterterrorism wrote the “U.S. today publicly attributes the massive ‘WannaCry’ cyberattack to North Korea.”

“We do not make this allegation lightly,” the official wrote. “It is based on evidence.”

The White House joins other governments, including Britain, in blaming Pyongyang for the unprecedented ransomware incident. Bossert also stressed a new harder stance against hackers and governments sponsoring malicious cyberattacks from Trump’s administration. Calling the consequences and repercussions of the WannaCry ransomware as “beyond economic”, Bossert wrote North Korea’s “malicious behavior is growing more egregious” while calling the ransomware outbreak as “indiscriminately reckless.”

He wrote:

President Trump has made his expectations clear. He has ordered the modernization of government information-technology to enhance the security of the systems we run on behalf of the American people. He continued sanctions on Russian hackers and directed the most transparent and effective government effort in the world to find and share vulnerabilities in important software. We share almost all the vulnerabilities we find with developers, allowing them to create patches.

WannaCry eventually came to a screeching halt after British hacker Marcus Hutchins discovered and enabled a “kill switch” in the ransomware’s code.

“This year, the Trump administration ordered the removal of all Kaspersky software from government systems,” Bossert further added, outlining the Trump administration’s hardline cybersecurity agenda. “A company that could bring data back to Russia represents an unacceptable risk on federal networks.”

The new strategy will continue to enforce a “maximum pressure strategy to curb Pyongyang’s ability to mount attacks, cyber or otherwise,” Bossert added.

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