North Korean Hackers Suspected of ‘WannaCry’ Ransomware Attack

A lock screen from a cyber attack warns that data files have been encrypted on a laptop computer in this arranged photo in London, U.K., on Monday, May 15, 2017. Governments and companies around the world began to gain the upper hand against the first wave of an unrivaled global cyberattack, even as the assault was poised to continue claiming victims this week. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesOn Monday, a Google security researcher announced the discovery of code in the “WannaCry” ransomware virus that suggests a notorious North Korean hacking group is behind the major global cybercrime. Researcher Neel Mehta revealed the discovery in a puzzling Twitter message:

As security firm Kaspersky explains, the message refers to a block of code found in both an early version of the WannaCry virus – the far less harmful version that was turbocharged into a global menace with the addition of stolen National Security Agency hacking tools – and code obtained from a hacking group called Lazarus in 2015.

In other words, this code snippet is a “fingerprint” that suggests WannaCry was developed by the Lazarus group. Lazarus is associated with North Korea and has a long history of wantonly destructive behavior – most notoriously including the attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment over the movie The Interview, which was seen as insulting to North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un…. read more


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