In May 2017, there was the biggest ransomware attack in history: WannaCry. The virus collapsed hospitals and “kidnapped” a large number of companies by paralyzing them. Several months later, the United States has just officially accused North Korea .
The WannaCry attack affected thousands of computers and networks around the world, with an estimated loss of around 4 billion dollars. As explained in an article in The Wall Street Journal Thomas P. Bossert, adviser to Donald Trump for national security and counterterrorism, both the government, and the authorities of the United Kingdom and Microsoft, have gathered a series of evidences that point to the government of North Korea.
Bossert has also explained that the United States will take a much tougher stance against hackers and the governments that deploy them, and will work to strengthen the security of government systems and networks in the home:
President Trump has made his expectations clear. He ordered the modernization of government information technology to improve the security of the systems we administer on behalf of the American people. He continued to sanction Russian hackers and led the most transparent and effective government effort in the world to find and share important software vulnerabilities. We share almost all the vulnerabilities that we find with the developers, which allows them to create patches.
This year, the Trump administration ordered the removal of all Kaspersky software from government systems. A company that could return data to Russia represents an unacceptable risk in federal networks. The main companies and retailers did the same. We filed charges against Iranian hackers who hacked several US companies, including HBO. If those hackers travel, we will arrest them and bring them to justice.
The WannaCry attack was one of the most devastating acts of cyberterrorism in recent times: a rapidly spreading malware that, for example, blocked several computers in NHS hospitals in the United Kingdom with a message requesting the payment of 300 dollars in Bitcoin. to decrypt the files and restore them. Shortly after it spread to 150 countries and more than 300 thousand teams.
The truth is that it is very likely that the US statement will further increase tensions with North Korea, and now they seem to have no fear of saying so. According to Bossert:
As for North Korea, it continues to threaten the United States, Europe and the rest of the world, and not only with its nuclear aspirations. Every time he uses more cyber attacks to finance his reckless behavior and cause disruption around the world. Trump has already put a lot of pressure to address North Korea’s unacceptable nuclear and missile developments, and we will continue to use our maximum pressure strategy to curb Pyongyang’s ability to carry out attacks, cyber or otherwise.
Bossert also explained that the regime was ” directly responsible ” for the WannaCry attack, and that “they should be held accountable for it, ” although he did not mention the specific actions that Washington was considering against Pyongyang. According to the advisor:
We do not make this accusation lightly. It is based on evidence. Nor are we alone with our findings. Other governments and private companies agree. The United Kingdom attributes the attack to North Korea, and Microsoft tracked the attack on the cybernetic affiliates of the North Korean government. They have acted especially badly, largely without control, for more than a decade, and their terrible behavior is becoming increasingly noticeable.
Bossert’s words published in the middle, a few hours ago should turn on all the alarms. From his message, the first official indictment of the US government to an attack that had in check hundreds of companies and thousands of equipment on the planet.