global ransomware attack
North Korea has slammed Britain for accusing it of being behind a global ransomware attack that hit the National Health
Service, calling the allegation a “wicked attempt” to further tighten international sanctions against Pyongyang.
A third of Britain’s public hospitals were affected by the WannaCry worm in May, according to a government report.
Up to 300,000 computers in 150 countries were hit by WannaCry, which According to the South Korean government,
the North has a 6,800-strong unit of trained cyber warfare specialists. It has been accused of launching high-profile
cyber-attacks, including the 2014 hacking of Sony Pictures.
Some researchers have pointed the finger at Pyongyang, saying that the code used was similar to past hacks blamed on
Kim Jong-Un’s regime. British Home Office minister Ben Wallace told the BBC last week that London was “as sure as
possible” that North Korea was responsible.
Ransomware is a form of malicious software that locks up the files on your computer, encrypts them, and demands that you
pay to get your files back. Wanna Decryptor, or WannaCry, is a form of ransomware that affects Microsoft’s Windows
operating system. When a system is infected, a pop up window appears, prompting you to pay to recover all your files
within three days, with a countdown timer on the left of the window. It adds that if you fail to pay within that time,
the fee will be doubled, and if you don’t pay within seven days, you will lose the files forever. Payment is accepted
only with Bitcoin
.But a spokesman for the North’s Korea-Europe Association denied the accusations and
warned Britain against “groundless speculation”. “This is an act beyond the limit of our tolerance and it makes
us question the real purpose behind the UK’s move,” he said, in a statement carried by the official Korean
Central News Agency late Monday.