Suspicion: Massive cyber attack caused by North Korea

Computer researchers say strong circumstantial evidence points to North Korean involvement in the recent WannaCry cyber attack.

Experts think they have uncovered evidence that could potentially connect North Korea to the recent WannaCry cyber attack that paralyzed computers worldwide.

Simon Choi, a senior researcher at the South Korea-based Hauri Labs, said parts of the WannaCry code also appeared in the 2014 hacking of Sony Pictures, a cyber attack widely attributed to North Korea. “It is similar to North Korea’s backdoor malicious codes,” said Choi.  “Since a July 2009 attack by North Korea, they used the same method. It’s not unique in North Korea, but it’s also not a very common method.”

Other industry giants such as Kaspersky Labs and Symantec concurred, but Choi cautioned against jumping to conclusions, warning the evidence is circumstantial. “We are talking about a possibility, not that this was done by North Korea,” Choi told AP.

WannaCry was a cyber attack that invaded more than 300,000 computers worldwide in a hack considered unprecedented in scope. Hackers exploited holes in older versions of Windows to steal files from hospitals, business, and public offices and demanded the owners pay ransoms via the internet currency Bitcoin.

Another version of the worm appeared this past weekend, but authorities took necessary precautions, significantly reducing the amount of damage caused.

Choi said that if North Korea’s culpability is proven, the world should start taking their capabilities seriously and ensure consequences for such actions.

“We have underestimated North Korea so far, [assuming ] since North Korea is poor, it wouldn’t have any technologies. But North Korea has been preparing cyber skills for more than 10 years and its skill is significant. We should never underestimate it,” Choi said.

By: Tzvi Lev, World Israel News