How the global cyberattack ties back to North Korea

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Evidence is emerging that links North Korea to what’s now being called the worst cyberattack ever launched against the world, according to cyber security researchers Symantec and Kaspersky Lab.

On Monday, the firm said that although it’s too early to confirm that Pyongang was behind the cyberattack, which took more than 300,000 computers hostage in 150 countries last week, some of the code used in the WannaCry ransomware had been used in programs run by the North Korean-linked Lazarus Group.

“This is the best clue we have seen to date as to the origins of WannaCry,” said Kurt Baumgartner, a researcher at Kaspersky Lab. Their investigation is ongoing.

Hackers for the Lazarus Group ransomed $81 million from the Bangladesh central bank, and in 2014, they were responsible for the notorious hack against Sony.

Companies, factories and government agencies around the world were affected in Friday’s attack; now known as the biggest online extortion attack in history.

It was reported that Homeland Security officials believe that a “limited number” of U.S. companies were affected by the WannaCry malicious software, and CERT (Computer Emergency Readiness Team) helped them to get a patch that fixed the problem.

The ransomware was insidious, according to Steven Wilson, Head of Europol’s European Cybercrime Center. “It’s not a massively sophisticated attack. What is new is the use of a worm to propagate through systems,” he said, adding, “It is beyond anything we have seen before.”

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