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North Korea vows to retaliate as US blames it for WannaCry cyberattack
22 December 2017, 12:11 | Cedric Leonard
NATION-NOW 5 things you need to know Friday
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The US was "unreasonably accusing the DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea] without any forensic evidence", a spokesman for North Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs was quoted as saying by the country's KCNA new agency.
The North Korean Foreign Ministry on Thursday denied accusations by the U.S. that Pyongyang was behind the WannaCry cyber attack in May that affected more than 200,000 computers across 150 countries. "North Korea, however, says the Hwasong-15 could reach mainland USA carrying a 'super-large heavy warhead'".
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.
WannaCry infected some 300,000 computers in 150 nations in May, encrypting user files and demanding hundreds of dollars from their owners for the keys to get them back.
USA homeland security adviser Tom Bossert wrote a Wall Street Journal op-ed published on 18 December that claimed North Korea was directly responsible for the cyberattack.
"The United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and Japan have seen our analysis, and they join us in denouncing North Korea for WannaCry", Bossert said. Bossert described the company as "a strong partner", adding that there is "no fear that there's any wedge between us". Other governments and private companies agree.
Those conclusions didn't sit well with the North Koreans.
"We condemn these actions and commit ourselves to working with all responsible states to combat destructive criminal use of cyberspace". The indiscriminate use of the WannaCry ransomware demonstrates North Korean actors using their cyber programme to circumvent sanctions.
British security services have announced since June that behind the huge cyber-attack launched against the British National Health System (NHS) are hackers from North Korea. It was made possible by a vulnerability in out-of-date versions of Microsoft Windows.
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