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Wednesday, 27 December 2017 08:05

North Korea asks US for proof of WannaCry claim Featured

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A North Korean diplomat has asked the US to provide evidence for its claim that the WannaCry ransomware was created and spread by Pyongyang.

Pak Song-il, the North Korean envoy in charge of US affairs at the UN, told the Associated Press over the phone that the allegation, made by US Homeland Security adviser Tom Bossert on 19 December, was a "baseless provocation" which was being used to generate tensions.

Bossert told a briefing at the White House that after intensive investigation, the US was publicly attributing the attack to North Korea.

WannaCry hit Europe mainly on 20 May and subsided over the weekend after British security researcher Marcus Hutchins found an URL within the malware code and registered this domain.

The ransomware used an NSA exploit to infect Windows machines that were not patched against a particular SMB vulnerability.

Pak said his country saw the claim as a US bid to create an “extremely confrontational atmosphere. If they are so sure, show us the evidence".

In making the claim, Bossert said: "We do not make this allegation lightly, we do so with evidence, we do so with partners.

"Other governments and private companies agree. The UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and Japan have seen our analysis and they join us in denouncing North Korea for WannaCry."

North Korea has been accused of other cyber attacks as well, with the best known being an infiltration of Sony Pictures Entertainment after a film, The Interview, did not go down well with Pyongyang.

That allegation has also been denied by North Korea.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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