Evidence Points to North Korea as Probable Source of the WannaCry Ransomware Attack

Kim Jong-un is the butt of numerous jokes as is North Korea's somewhat unreliable missile program. The North clearly doesn't have this missile thing down just yet, although they are making progress. Making jokes and creating internet memes to send around might be fun, but if the rest of the world isn't careful, it might wind up being Mr. Kim who is the one laughing — or at least very satisfied with himself.

This would especially be the case if it turned out that North Korea was the instigator of the recent and ongoing cyberattacks worldwide.

The WannaCry ransomware attack that wreaked havoc on computer systems around the world over the past few days may be the handiwork of North Korea, some early clues suggest.

Google security researcher Neel Mehta sent out a tweet Monday linking two samples of malicious code: One from an early version of WannaCry and the other from the Lazarus Group, a collection of cybercriminals reportedly affiliated with North Korea.

Lazarus launched an attack on the Bangladesh central bank’s account at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York from an IP address in North Korea, according to Kaspersky Lab. The hackers stole $81 million. Lazarus has been active for years, but it wasn’t until recently that researchers discovered a connection to North Korea. The Lazarus Group is also reportedly behind the infamous Sony hack, as well as a breach at a Polish bank.

While taking down computer systems and networks, and stealing millions of dollars is serious enough, the frightening possibility is that this ransomware attack could be used to hack our nuclear weapons' launch codes, a terrifying thought if there ever was one.

What is striking is the number of well-known computer security firms that are commenting on this attack and potentially linking it with North Korea.

Kaspersky called Mehta’s discovery “the most significant clue to date regarding the origins of WannaCry.” Acknowledging that more research is required, the director of the global research and analysis team at Kaspersky Lab, Costin Raiu, told Forbes that Mehta “might have found the WannaCry Rosetta Stone.”

The code used in the ransomware attack is noticeably uncommon and has only been used by cybercriminals with ties to North Korea, reports the New York Times.

“At this time, all we have is a temporal link,” Eric Chien, a Symantec investigator told the Times. “We want to see more coding similarities to give us more confidence.”

Has Mr. Kim already attacked, just with incredibly malicious software rather than bombs? It's more than just possible. After all, we are reminded that the art of war also includes the art of deception.

If he can get hold of nations' nuclear weapons launch codes, then he just became an order of magnitude more dangerous.

In any event, turning loose malicious software on the world's computer systems does give him something to occupy his time with as his military develops the science of creating and launching nuclear weapons of his own.

Source: The Libertarian Republic



  1. Jake Sherwood

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