Global Cyberattack: Possible Link to North Korea?

Manan Manchanda ’19
EE Co-News Editor

Earlier this week, a massive cyberattack by a virus known as WannaCry, targeted over 300,000 machines in over 150 countries. The WannaCry virus is a type of ransomware, which encrypts one’s data on their machine and demands a ransom payment in the deep web cryptocurrency called Bitcoin.

Researchers have found possible links between the WannaCry software and a separate virus created by the Lazarus group, which does have connections to North Korea. The connections were found by multiple researchers, most notably, one researcher at Google on Monday this week.

Other research groups, including Symantec, have spoken out based on their findings. They state, “We have not yet been able to confirm the Lazarus tools deployed WannaCry on these systems. While these connections exist, they so far only represent weak connections. We are continuing to investigate for stronger connections.”

Again, the possible connections found between the software created by the Lazarus group are speculative, and there is no hard evidence that there is a link between the WannaCry software and a possible aggression by North Korean hacking groups or the North Korean government.

In the investigation of a cyberattack, it is quote hard to pinpoint where exactly the virus originated and where it was created. This requires researchers to find a “patient zero”, or the original machine where the virus had kicked off and started to spread to other machines. Just like any other cybersecurity investigation, the recent cyberattack investigation does need time to develop and sink in, and only then will global researchers and investigation agencies be able to pinpoint the hacker and any possible affiliations with a North Korean hacking group.

The attack damaged many facilities and governments worldwide. In the United Kingdom, many hospitals were forced to cancel patient appointments and divert ambulances. In Russia, the Central Bank, Russian Railways, and the Interior Ministry suffered from the attack.

Researchers and intelligence agencies will continue to find out the culprits of the attack and bring them to justice. For now, it is advised that you update any OS on your computer and use latest patches for software to prevent your computer from being the next one infected.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Hit Counter provided by Los Angeles SEO