UK and US pin Wannacry attacks on North Korea

Published on: 2 Jan 2018

The UK and US governments have explicitly blamed North Korea for the Wannacry malware attack that devastated systems in hospitals, banks and businesses around the world earlier this year.

It marks the first time that either nation has officially blamed a state for the attack that affected 300,000 computers spread across 150 countries and caused billions of dollars of damage.

The National Cyber Security Centre has issued a statement claiming it was “highly likely” that North Korean actors, known as the Lazarus Group, were behind the WannaCry ransomware campaign.

It added: “The indiscriminate use of the WannaCry ransomware demonstrates North Korean actors using their cyber programme to circumvent sanctions.”

Meanwhile, Thomas Bossert, an aide to President Donald Trump, accused North Korea in the Wall Street Journal newspaper, writing: "North Korea has acted especially badly, largely unchecked, for more than a decade, and its malicious behaviour is growing more egregious. WannaCry was indiscriminately reckless.”

Australia, Canada and New Zealand also share North America’s belief that North Korea was behind the Wannacry attack, Mr Bossert also claimed.