It’s looking more likely that North Korea was behind the cyberattacks carried out against hospitals all over the world earlier this year.
According to Brad Smith — the president of Microsoft — North Korea launched a vicious cyberattack using a ransomware known as “WannaCry.” The Washington Examiner reports that this attack caused massive damage to hospitals.
In an interview with British ITV News, Smith claimed that “all observers in the know” have found that Pyongyang was responsible for the attacks. The hackers used tools developed by the National Security Agency (NSA) to shut down computers. Then, they contacted the hospitals, informing them that they would restore their computers if the users paid a ransom. It’s a common practice among hackers.
Earlier this year, North Korea was suspected by the United States of being behind the attacks, but Smith’s interview marks the first time that a Microsoft executive publicly stated that Pyongyang was responsible.
According to Smith, attacks such as these are becoming more common. He also urged governments to implement procedures that can protect citizens from these attacks. “We need governments to come together as they did in Geneva in 1949 and adopt a new digital Geneva Convention that makes clear that these cyber-attacks against civilians, especially in times of peace, are off-limits and a violation of international law,” Smith said.
In May of this year, The New York Times reported that the US found hard links that identified a North Korean group of hackers known as the “Lazarus Group” as the party who carried out the attack. According to the cyber security company Symantec, they used a ransomware called “WannaCry.” The Lazarus Group works for the North Korean regime.
Eric Chien, an investigator at Symantec, first discovered the use of a WannaCry ransomware attack in February. Within two minutes, the ransomware infected more than 100 computers on the hospital’s network.
However, the hackers did not cover their tracks effectively — they left clues behind that allowed Mr. Chien and his team to connect the attack to others perpetrated by the Lazarus Group.
The hackers left behind a trail of digital crumbs that Mr. Chien and his colleagues had traced to previous attacks by the Lazarus Group, which United States government officials claim works at the behest of Pyongyang. The group’s attacks used the command-and-control server that was used when North Korea hacked Sony Pictures Entertainment in 2014. The attack decimated almost half of the company’s computers.
Microsoft says North Korea behind hospital ransom cyberattack this year. Do you think they were?
While many believe that North Korea was responsible for the WannaCry attacks, some still think that another party was behind them. Of course, Pyongyang has denied being involved in the ransomware assaults.
It is not hard to imagine that North Korea would resort to launching massive cyberattacks against the west. The Kim regime is working hard to strike their enemies in any way possible. As the threatening rhetoric between the United States and North Korea intensifies, Kim Jong Un is looking for other ways to cause us harm.
The North Korea situation is a complex issue that has not been solved by previous administrations. Many agree that there are no good options when it comes to halting their nuclear ambitions. Hopefully, the Trump administration will succeed where others have failed.