On Tuesday, researchers investigating the huge cyberattack campaign, which has caused global computer chaos, reported signs of a possible North Korean link, with one expert warning there could be more to come.
The Russian security firm Kaspersky Lab has said portions of the WannaCry program use the same code as malware previously distributed by the Lazarus Group, a hacker collective behind the 2014 Sony hack.
In November 2014, Sony Pictures Entertainment became the target of the biggest cyberattack in USA corporate history, linked to its release of North Korea satire "The Interview".
Google researcher Neel Mehta posted computer code showing similarities between the "WannaCry" malware and a vast hacking effort widely attributed to Pyongyang.The isolated, nuclear-armed state is known to operate an army of thousands of hackers operating in both the North, and apparently China, and has been blamed for a number of major cyberattacks.
The attack includes elements that belong to the US National Security Agency, and were leaked online last month.
WannaCry crippled computers running older versions of Microsoft Windows in about 150 countries. The breadth and speed of the attack was described [BBC report] by Europol [official website] as "unprecedented".
A screen that popped up on infected computers demanded $300 to $600 in bitcoin as payments to unlock important files.
"A European police agency said more than 200,000 computers worldwide have been the target of the cyberattack", North Korea stated. He said the council is exploring many different avenues to proceed and "clearly sanctions are a way to go", but also diplomacy.
"I saw signs past year that the North was preparing ransomware attacks or even already beginning to do so, targeting some South Korean companies", he said.
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South Korea has been on alert since the breaches began on Friday.
But Kaspersky said false flags within WannaCry were "possible" but "improbable", as the shared code was removed from later versions. Haley previously indicated that new sanctions could target oil, a critical import for North Korea mainly from China, and she said Tuesday the USA also wants sanctions on organizations and businesses in third countries that are helping Pyongyang.
"The group's chief executive Itai Tevet said in a tweet: "@IntezerLabs confirms attribution to North Korea for #WannaCry, not only because of the function from Lazarus.
Second, North Korean cyber-attacks have typically been far more targeted, often with a political goal in mind.
"As you can see it's pretty thin and all circumstantial", Prof Woodward said.
"In this case, there is a fragment of the technology that was associated with Lazarus", Clark said. And even finding a real person might be no help if they're in a jurisdiction that won't cooperate.
Investigators might also be able to extract some information about the attacker from a previously hidden internet address connected to WannaCry's "kill switch".
"However, it's worth further investigation".
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