Washington (December 20, 2017): The White House on Tuesday accused North Korea of launching a massive cyber attack that hit 150 countries last May.
“After careful investigation, the United States is publicly attributing the massive ‘WannaCry’ cyber attack to North Korea,” said White House homeland security advisor Tom Bossert.
“We do not make this allegation lightly, we do so with evidence and we do so with partners,” he added.
Exploiting a security flaw in Microsoft’s Windows XP operating system, the malware infected an estimated 300,000 computers demanding ransom to decrypt data.
The United States is the latest country to point the finger of blame at Pyongyang, attribution which comes as part of a drive to exert “maximum pressure” on the regime.
As yet, no retaliatory measures have been announced. Among the infected computers were those at Britain’s National Health Service (NHS), Spanish telecoms company Telefonica and US logistics company FedEx.
London had already blamed North Korea, which hit a third of Britain’s public hospitals.
Pyongyang then denied the allegation, saying it went “beyond the limit of our tolerance” and was a “wicked attempt to lure the international community into harbouring greater mistrust of the DPRK.”