Law enforcement officials flag North Korea link

  • Law enforcement officials flag North Korea link

Law enforcement officials flag North Korea link

The vulnerability exploited by the ransomware is believed to have been first identified by the U.S. National Security Agency and later leaked online.

Putin and other world leaders have urged Kim Jong-un to rein in his nuclear programme amid fears his missiles could hit the USA mainland. "More details in June", it promised.

In China, foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said she had no information to share, when asked about the origin of the attack and whether North Korea might be connected.

"In this case, there is a fragment of the technology that was associated with Lazarus", Gregory Clark, CEO of cybersecurity firm Symantec, told CBS News. It did not name any of the entities.

During a White House briefing, Mr Bossert said no federal systems in the United States had been affected by the malicious software.

"The real situation may be serious".

Expert observers suspect that weapon is a step towards an intercontinental ballistic missile, one that could permit the reclusive regime to develop a working ICBM earlier than anticipated.

While the outside world condemns North Korea's missile and nuclear tests, inside the country, state media say the weapons are needed to defend against a perceived threat from the United States and South Korea.

Taiwan Power Co said that almost 800 of its computers were affected, although these were used for administration, not for systems involved in electricity generation.

Software company Symantec, maker of popular security software, published a blog post also pointing to the possible connections, writing, "While these findings do not indicate a definite link between Lazarus and WannaCry, we believe that there are sufficient connections to warrant further investigation".

Despite the push for a tougher stance, Haley held out the prospect of direct talks with North Korea, saying "we are willing to talk but not until we see a total stop of the nuclear process and of any test there".

After Mehta highlighted the elements in the code, other researchers confirmed similarities that early versions of WannaCry - also called WannaCrypt, Wana Decryptor or WCry - shared with malware tools used by Lazarus. Poring over the code, he recognized similarities to the malware behind the huge Sony hack in 2014, which was carried out by a group with ties to north Korea.

"If your files are not backed up, you lose all of those files, and that includes those files that are sensitive in nature and may have proprietary information", Jackson State University computer expert Soniael Duncan said.

Sunday's test came less than a week after South Korea elected a new president, Mr Moon Jae In, who slammed the latest launch as a "reckless provocation" and said dialogue would be possible "only if the North changes its attitude". "There is no reason for North Korea to be having these actions outside of the fact they just choose to do so". The North Korean mission to the United Nations was not immediately available for comment.

He claimed to have previous year tracked down an elite North Korean hacker who boasted online that the country was conducting tests for ransomware attacks.

But officials say they are now not discounting the possibility of North Korean involvement, although emphasising the evidence so far is fragmentary.

Malware researcher Paul Burbage of Flashpoint, a business risk intelligence company, tells NPR's Martin Kaste that so far, he hasn't seen a solid connection between the ransomware and North Korea.