Washington blames Pyongyang for WannaCry cyber attack

World Today

The U.S. is publicly blaming the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea for unleashing a massive cyber attack earlier this year. The White House said Pyongyang orchestrated the ‘WannaCry’ ransomware that crippled networks across the globe.

CGTN’s Jessica Stone reports.

Seven months after the so-called WannaCry cyber attack paralyzed hundreds of thousands of computers in more than 150 countries across the globe, Washington is blaming the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

“We’ve got analysts all over the world but also deep and experienced analysts within our intelligence community that looked at not only the operational infrastructure but also the tradecraft and the routine and the behaviors we have seen in the past attacks,” Tom Bossert, a U.S. Homeland Security adviser said.

In response to the announcement, U.K. foreign office minister Lord Nazir Ahmed said “the indiscriminate use of the WannaCry ransomware demonstrates North Korean actors using their cyber programme to circumvent sanctions.”

Back in 2014, the Barack Obama administration publicly accused Pyongyang of ordering the Sony Pictures attack, but the U.S. didn’t retaliate publicly, and there’s no evidence it served as deterrence.

“Shaming by itself is not going to necessarily get you very far,” said Scott Snyder of the Council on Foreign Relations. “So I do think that we should anticipate and there will be a need for a more active response capability and a more focused response capability by which it’s going to be possible to put the squeeze on probably the hosts of this kind of activity.”

At the same time, the U.S. and other nations have increased international sanctions to get Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons program. The U.S. has moved three carrier strike groups to the Pacific.

And just days ago, a U.S. lawmaker and presidential confidante, Lindsey Graham told a U.S. magazine that there’s a “three in 10 chance” the U.S. use a military option. Graham also said if Pyongyang tested a seventh nuclear bomb, the odds would rise to “70-percent.”

Moscow and Beijing continue to push Pyongyang to come back to talks. In the coming days, all eyes will be on Kim Jong-un’s New Year’s address when he’ll set the stage for 2018.