North Korea's government-backed hackers have been blamed for a rising number of cyber attacks, including the so-called WannaCry cyber attack that crippled hospitals, banks and other companies across the globe this year.
The allegation comes from Thomas P. Bossert, assistant to the American president for homeland security and counterterrorism, who penned a piece in The Wall Street Journal today, and noted that the United States, authorities in the UK, as well as Microsoft, had found evidence from the attack pointing to affiliation with the North Korean government.
"They want to hold the entire world at risk", Bossert said of North Korea's rulers, referring to the nation's nuclear and missile provocations as well as its alleged cyberattack.
Bossert did not specify what evidence American officials have to blame North Korea, citing security issues, but he cited the country's prior attacks as revealing hallmarks of how Pyongyang and its network of hackers operates. "We are not alone with our findings, either", he explained. "Other governments and private companies agree", Bossert added.
Hacking may now account for one-third of cash-strapped North Korea's gross domestic product, Cybereason CISO Sam Curry tells me. Symantec, F-Secure and other big-name security software firms have also blamed North Korea for the attack, as has the British government. "When we must, the USA will act alone to impose costs and consequences for cyber malfeasance", he added.
Bossert also mentioned charges against Iranian hackers, Canadian, and Chinese nationals for hacking United States systems or companies.
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Other big stars like Carolina Panther Graham Gano, Lebron James, Justin Beiber, and Katie Perry later shared their support. In his video, through his tears, Keaton told viewers: "If you are made fun of, just don't let it bother you".
Security researchers at Cybereason, Google, Kaspersky Lab, Microsoft and Symantec have also said that the tools used in the attack have been previously used by the Lazarus Group.
He called on governments and businesses to cooperate, assuring the USA will lead the effort while saying Facebook and Microsoft played a crucial role in curtailing the North Korean hacking scheme.
"We hope that they decide to stop behaving badly online", Bossert told reporters. "WannaCry was indiscriminately reckless", Bossert said. He was able to trip the switch and the attack ended.
Cristiana Brafman Kittner, principal analyst at the cybersecurity firm FireEye, said she could not confirm whether North Korea had actually stolen any virtual currencies, but said hackers linked to it had targeted "multiple exchanges" over the past six to nine months.