North Korea Denies Role in WannaCry, Calls US Accusation a “Grave Political Provocation”

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Dec 21, 2017
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After President Trump’s aide accused North Korea of being behind this year’s devastating WannaCry ransomware outbreak earlier this week, Pyongyang has said the United States government’s accusation was a serious political provocation. Earlier today, a spokesperson for North Korean’s foreign ministry said the US allegations were “absurd” and that the country has nothing to do with cyberattacks.

“As we have clearly stated on several occasions, we have nothing to do with cyber attack and we do not feel a need to respond, on a case-by-case basis, to such absurd allegations of the U.S.,” the spokesperson said, according to the country’s KCNA news agency.

WannaCry ransomware outbreak had infected over 300,000 systems in over 150 countries, primarily affecting businesses in United Kingdom. The ransomware had encrypted user files with criminals demanding ransom to give owners keys to decrypt their data. In some cases, the entire systems were locked down, notoriously affecting UK’s healthcare system.

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After the United States accusation, some private researchers said the country possibly couldn’t be behind this attack, since WannaCry had also infected systems in Russia and others in the region that are actually Pyongyang’s allies. While the United States and its allies continue to blame North Korea for several cyberattacks, including bitcoin heists, the 2014 Sony Pictures hack and ransomware attacks, the country continues to deny all such accusations.

Earlier this week, a South Korean cryptocurrency exchange had to shut down after it suffered two major cyberattacks in a year losing 17 percent of its digital assets. The local investigators consider North Korea as the primary suspect.

In response to the allegations (from South Korea, UK, Australia, New Zealand, and US), the spokesperson told KCNA that Washington has “ulterior” motives to blame the country. “This move is a grave political provocation by the US aimed at inducing the international society into a confrontation against the DPRK by tarnishing the image of the dignified country and demonising it,” he added.

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