Trail of global cyberattack could lead to North Korea

16 Mai, 2017, 13:44 | Author: Come Portier
  • Trail of global cyberattack could lead to North Korea

The Guardian newspaper reported that Kaspersky and Symantec, top security firms, have found evidence linking the WannaCry malware to North Korean backed Lazarus Group, which attacked Sony Pictures in 2014 and Bangladeshi Bank in 2016. "The similarities we see between malware linked to that group and WannaCry are not unique enough to be strongly suggestive of a common operator", FireEye researcher John Miller said.

Meanwhile, the White House said on Monday that less than $70,000 has been paid in the ransomware attack globally.

"We are not aware if payments have led to any data recovery", Bossert said, adding that no federal government systems had been affected.

In November 2014, Sony Pictures Entertainment became the target of the biggest cyberattack in U.S. corporate history, linked to its release of North Korea satire "The Interview", hated by Pyongyang. That hack occurred in the weeks before Sony released a satiric movie about a plot to kill North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Bitcoin, the world's most-used virtual currency, allows anonymous transactions via heavily encrypted codes.

"They also did a massive, what we call "wiping attack" on the South Korean broadcasters and also South Korean banks". "It could be a freak coincidence", he said.

The irony, he noted, is that the ransomware attack was enabled by a leak of National Security Agency hacking tools. He argued that North Korea wasn't able to achieve any political goal or get a lot of money from the attacks.

Global markets appeared to largely avoid problems Monday amid worries of digital chaos in the wake of the attack. WannaCry is far more risky than other common ransomware types because of its ability to spread itself across an organization's network by exploiting a critical vulnerability in Windows computers, which was patched by Microsoft in March 2017 (MS17-010).

Few problems were reported on stock exchanges and other financial systems Monday.

To date, the countries more affected by WannaCry are Russia, Taiwan, Ukrain, and India, according to Czech security firm Avast.

China's state-run Xinhua News Agency reported that the virus infiltrated a range of networks, including railway operations, mail delivery, hospitals and government offices.

Meanwhile, automaker Renault decided not to reopen a 3,500-employee plant in France on Monday as a "preventative step".

Some eight to 10 USA entities, including a few in the health-care sector, reported possible Wannacry infections to the Department of Homeland Security, a US official said.

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Bossert said Monday that the situation was "under control" at the moment in the United States.

"The growth rate of infected institutions on Monday has slowed significantly compared to the previous two days", said Chinese Internet security company Qihoo 360, according to Reuters.

The Korea Internet & Security Agency (KISA) said it has received 4,193 calls inquiring into ransomware through its hotline so far.

In the South Korean city of Asan, an electronic panel meant to show bus arrival times instead displayed a message demanding bitcoin payment.

It spreads from computer to computer as it finds exposed targets.

In Hong Kong, Gazeley said his team had found a new version of the worm that didn't use e-mail to lure victims.

Companies have warned users and staff not to click on attachments or links.

The Department of Homeland Security began an "aggressive awareness campaign" to alert industry partners to the importance of installing the Microsoft patch shortly after it was released in March, an agency official working on the attack said.

It encrypted users' computer files and displayed a message demanding anywhere from $300 to $600 to release them; failure to pay would leave the data mangled and likely beyond fix.

The attack hobbled operations at Russia's Interior Ministry, Spanish telecommunications giant Telefónica and Britain's National Health Service.

Speaking in Beijing on Sunday, Russian President Vladimir Putin called on the global community to offer a coordinated response to the cybersecurity threats at "the highest political level" and lamented the US's refusal to discuss the issue with Russia.

"Microsoft leadership has put it straight", he said.

Some believe the United States is actually responsible for the cyberattack. "Russian Federation has absolutely nothing to do with this".

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