Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

'WannaCry' shares code with Sony hack, raising possibility of N. Korea connection


Cybersecurity experts around the world are saying that they found circumstantial evidence that could link North Korea to the WannaCry ransomware attack.

According to reports by India Today, ATMs in India are highly vulnerable to such malware attacks as they presently run an old version of Microsoft's Windows operating system, making it an easy target for such attacks.

Microsoft said on Tuesday it was aware of Shadow Brokers' most recent claim and that its security teams monitor potential threats in order to "help us prioritize and take appropriate action."Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith said earlier this week the WannaCry attack used elements stolen from the NSA". Researchers have said some of the code used in Friday's ransomware, WannaCry, was almost identical to the code used by the Lazarus Group, a group of North Korean hackers who used a similar version for the hack of Sony Pictures Entertainment in 2014 and last year's hack of Bangladesh Central Bank.

And past year, the group was accused of stealing $81 million from a bank in Bangladesh.

Experts think they have uncovered evidence that could potentially connect North Korea to the recent WannaCry cyber attack that paralyzed computers worldwide.

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Simon Choi, a director at anti-virus software company Hauri Inc. who has analyzed North Korean malware since 2008 and advises the government on cyberattacks, said the North is no newcomer to the world of bitcoins and has been mining the digital currency using malicious computer programs since as early as 2013.

"The cyberattack, which was carried out via the Internet around May 12, swept through a great number of government agencies and business in some 150 countries, including the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China, around the world", the Rodong Sinmun, an official daily of the North's ruling Workers' Party, reported. The United States accused it of being behind a cyber attack on Sony Pictures in 2014.North Korea has denied being behind the Sony and banking attacks.

"I believe that China will stay true to that and we will come together on how we're going to do that", she said.

But the paper did not comment whether the North had suffered the attack.

Chinese media pinned some of the blame for the massive global cyberattack that affected more than 300,000 computers over the weekend on the United States.

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