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North Korean Hackers Emerge As “Culprits” Behind Global Malware Cyberattack

North Korean Hackers Emerge As “Culprits” Behind Global Malware Cyberattack

zerohedge.com / by Tyler Durden / May 15, 2017

Remember when North Korea “hackers” breached several firewall layers at Sony, exposing gigabytes of confidential data, only for it to eventually emerge that it was all the work of a disgruntled Sony employee?

Apparently not, because the same plot line is being re-run all over again.

Two of the world’s largest anti-virus companies said they are “looking into clues” that suggest a North Korea-linked group may be behind last week’s cyberattack. According to Reuters, Symantec and Kaspersky are investigating whether hackers from the Lazarus Group were responsible for infecting an estimated 300,000 machines in 150 countries. The two companies have said that “some code in an earlier version of the WannaCry ransomware had also appeared in programs used by the Lazarus Group, which researchers from many companies said is run by North Korea.”

While we reserve judgment at the amusing possibility that North Korea could have brought a substantial portion of the world’s computer infrastructure to a halt until there is some actual evidence, it is worth noting that said inquiries emerged shortly after the White House said that paying ransom money to unlock files encrypted by the global cyberattack does not work. It was not clear how North Korean hackers planned to convert bitcoin into any practical currency in a nation whose major banks have been barred from SWIFT.

In any case, speaking to reporters on Monday afternoon, Homeland security adviser Tom Bossett told reporters he is not aware of a case where transferring $300 in Bitcoin – the amount demanded from victims of last week’s attack – has “led to any data recovery”. The Trump administration estimated that less than $70,000 has been paid to the criminals behind the ransomware so far.

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