wnol.info January 21 2018

Korea spurns cyberhacking accusation by US

January 21 2018, 12:23 | Irvin Gilbert

A man is reflected on a screen showing exchange rates of cryptocurrencies at an exchange in Seoul

A man is reflected on a screen showing exchange rates of cryptocurrencies at an exchange in Seoul

South Korea and U.S. officials have accused North Korea of launching a slew of cyberattacks in recent years.

North Korea has officially declined any involvement in the creation and distribution of WannaCry, a ransomware that hit hundreds of thousands of computers in May 2017.

The malware was able to self-propagate by exploiting a flaw in Microsoft's implementation of the SMB networking protocol.

Britain has also accused North Korea of being behind WannaCry. Security experts, however, traced the exploitation of that weakness back to the U.S. National Security Agency; it was part of a cache of stolen NSA cyberweapons publicly released by a group of hackers known as the Shadow Brokers.

In remarks carried by state media, the North's Foreign Ministry repeated it had nothing to do with the attack.

The North Korean government claims that Washington has "ulterior motives", saying: "As we have clearly stated on several occasions, we have nothing to do with cyber-attacks".

The North kept its firm stance against US President Donald Trump's administration, calling the allegation a serious political provocation to damage the country's image.

For their part, the North Korean government has repeatedly denied being behind the malware. These activities, it is claimed, are directed from the very top by an organisation called Central Committee Bureau 39 of the Workers' Party of Korea, or simply Room 39.

Bossert said the Trump administration will continue to use its "maximum pressure strategy to curb Pyongyang's ability to mount attacks, cyber or otherwise".

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

"North Korea has acted especially badly, largely unchecked, for more than a decade, and its malicious behaviour is growing more egregious", Bossert wrote, adding, "WannaCry was indiscriminately reckless".

Among them is a USA accusation that it hacked Sony Pictures Entertainment over The Interview, a satirical movie about a plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

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