U.S. claims North Korea is directly responsible for WannaCry cyber attack

Best Korea denies creating WannaCry

Bossert said the USA administration's finding of responsibility is based on evidence and confirmed by other governments and private companies, including the United Kingdom and Microsoft.

North Korea on Thursday spurned a cyberhacking accusation raised by the United States, calling it a direct challenge to its regime. The flaw had been used for years by the US National Security Agency (NSA) for its own ends, but was published at the beginning of the year after a trove of NSA exploits was leaked. The May cyber attack crippled hospitals, banks and other companies.

Microsoft president Brad Smith likened the theft to "the US military having some of its Tomahawk missiles stolen", and argued that intelligence agencies should disclose such vulnerabilities rather than hoarding them. Hutchins was able to trip that switch, and the attack soon ended.

The country's Foreign Ministry issued a statement on state media that said North Korea had nothing to do with the attack and that it would not tolerate such "reckless" allegations, though the statement stopped short of saying just how the country would respond. The North was also suspected of involvement in a cyberattack on Sony's USA subsidiary 3 years ago. On Tuesday, the Foreign Office said: "The indiscriminate use of the WannaCry ransomware demonstrates North Korean actors using their cyber programme to circumvent sanctions". -South Korean wartime "decapitation strike" plans against the North Korean leadership.

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In 2014, North Korea was accused of being behind a devastating compromise of Sony Pictures Entertainment.

North Korea has also been sanctioned (again) over the country's nuclear testing programme and development of weapons of mass destruction. Among them is a USA accusation that it hacked Sony Pictures in 2014 over the movie The Interview, a satirical film about a plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Those conclusions didn't sit well with the North Koreans.

Said to be a "low-ranking" soldier, he was the second North Korean service member to defect to the South in the last few months.

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