Now, the United States government has publically accused North Korea as the power responsible for fueling the WannaCry ransomware, according to a writing published (via The Verge) in the Wall Street Journal by Thomas Bossert.
While Bossert condemned North Korea for the attack, the adviser said that there is little the USA can do to punish the secretive nation's government, emphasizing that the U.S.is not viewing an attack on private computers as an act of war. Whenever possible, we will work with partners, industry and allied governments, who share our market based values.
Although the US has now publicly pointed the finger at North Korea for two separate high-profile cyber incidents, such accusations are still unusual.
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"As we make the internet safer, we will continue to hold accountable those who harm or threaten us, whether they act alone or on behalf of criminal organizations or hostile nations".
"Microsoft and Facebook and other major tech companies acted to disable a number of North Korean cyber exploits and disrupt their operations as the North Koreans were still infecting computers across the globe". That activity started with espionage, he said, and has evolved enormously since then.
The US is set on publicly blaming Pyongyang for carrying out an unprecedented cyber attack, which caused widespread destruction to around the world earlier this year.
With a "very high level of confidence", the US government affirmed a hacker group that goes by the name "Lazarus Group", which works for North Korea, carried out the attack.
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From there, the attackers would access the user's bitcoin wallet either on the computer, or on the bitcoin exchange's server, he said.
A series of recent cyber attacks has netted North Korean hackers millions of dollars in virtual currencies like bitcoin, with more attacks expected as worldwide sanctions drive the country to seek new sources of cash, researchers say.
Down the line, Bossert claimed, "we're gonna ask [private companies] to look into sharing more technical information on how they're architected and where their exposure points". "It's, nevertheless, important to call them out to let them know that it's them and we know it's them", he said.
Bossert, assistant to the president for homeland security and counter-terrorism, noted in a briefing with reporters that the "consequences were beyond economic". He was able to trip the switch and the attack ended.
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According to Bossert, those responsible for the cyber attacks against the USA would be held accountable, but did not mention any specifics regarding the actions Washington was considering taking against the rogue state.