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Seoul Says “WannaCry” Cyber Attack Might Have North Korea Links


Image of a cyber attack

On Tuesday, some South Korean cybersecurity experts warned that more attacks might be on the way after the global distress the “WannaCry” ransomware caused. They also said that the North might be at fault for what happened. Over the weekend, the largest such attack ever registered hit over 200,000 computers in 150 countries. It began on Friday when hackers started blocking and exploiting vulnerabilities in the computers belonging to hospitals, schools, banks and even state agencies. Older versions of the Microsoft Windows operating systems were the most vulnerable, as the hackers requested payment in Bitcoin virtual currency.

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Causing distress all over the world

According to Simon Choi, director of Seoul internet security firm Hauri, the code this last attack used shared some traits with other codes used in hacks which the North Korea was guilty of. This involved the hacking of Sony Pictures and the central bank of Bangladesh. Choi also publicly warned since last year against hacks committed by the North requesting ransom in Bitcoin. He is one of the people who have a large collection of data on Pyongyang’s hacking activities.

He also reminded everyone about a similar attack which happened last year. That one affected Interpark, a Seoul-based online shopping site, and stole data from over 10 million users. The hackers also asked for Bitcoin payments worth of $3 million. Seoul is blaming North Korea’s main intelligence agency for conducting the “WannaCry” cyberattack. Choi continues to expect more attacks, especially because the North can simply deny them and nobody can do anything. It is worth noting that other cybersecurity experts in Russia, United States and Israel have noticed some links which may have to do with North Korea. However, at the moment, there is no evidence to support those claims.

Coming from North Korea?

Neel Mehta, a Google researcher, revealed some details which are showing links between this “WannaCry” attack and code which the infamous Lazarus group used. This hacker group is also believed to have links with North Korea. The state has thousands of hackers which it uses in the north and also in China. Experts have previously blamed them for a number of such cyberattacks. So, if the country conducted this recent one, it would not come as a surprise.

Image source: pixabay


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