Microsoft, Facebook disrupted activities of North Korean hackers: White House

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The US has publicly called out North Korea for the massive WannaCry ransomware attack that affected thousands of computers and networks across the globe in May, with an estimated loss of about $4 billion.

White House Homeland Security Advisor Tom Bossert said US President Donald Trump had rallied allies and responsible tech companies around the world to increase the security and resilience of the Internet.

The WannaCry attack crippled hospitals, banks and companies around the world, and "highlights the capabilities that North Korea has in cyber", Kurtz said.

He said the rogue nation will be held accountable for the attack.

"Cooperation between industry and good governments will bring improved security, and we can no longer afford to wait", he said. "We are not alone with our findings, either", he added.

He said it's also an opportunity to call on the other countries in the region that were affected to mobilise them to stop that same behaviour.

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Back in October, security minister Ben Wallace appeared to blame North Korea for the infamous ransomware attack that disrupted the operation of one in three NHS trusts in England as well as numerous other organisations worldwide. However, the damage isn't just economic as it put lives at risk in the United Kingdom, the President's aide has said.

The U.S. government has belatedly announced that hackers tied to the government of North Korea were behind the WannaCry outbreak that began in May. "WannaCry was indiscriminately reckless".

Pyongyang had always been suspected of being behind the "WannaCry" attack, which hit entities including the USA -based shipping company FedEx, Spanish telecommunications firm Telefonica, and Britain's National Health Service, which forced hospitals to cancel surgeries and divert ambulances to other facilities.

Bossert asserted that the damage from WannaCry, which did not specifically target the USA, was reduced in the U.S. because "the targets in the United States were harder, so they were suffering less", he said.

From there, the attackers would access the user's bitcoin wallet either on the computer, or on the bitcoin exchange's server, he said. He was able to trip the switch and the attack ended. What we did was, rely on - and some of it I can't share, unfortunately - technical links to previously identified North Korean cyber tools, tradecraft, operational infrastructure.

Bossert suggests that President Trump "has already pulled many levers of pressure to address North Korea's unacceptable nuclear and missile developments", and the government will continue to use its "maximum pressure strategy to curb Pyongyang's ability to mount attacks, cyber or otherwise".