The British government is joining the likes of tech giants like Microsoft in blaming North Korea for the WannaCry ransomware epidemic that impacted hundreds of thousands of victims globally, including a third of NHS trusts in England.
The news comes in the wake of the WannaCry epidemic which started back in May 2017 when the NHS suffered a widespread cyber-attack that left staff locked out of computers and many trusts to divert emergency patients. Services like pathology test results, phone and bleep systems, and patient admin systems were forced to a screeching halt once systems were infected. It’s been said that 19,000 operations and appointments were canceled due to the devastating ransomware attack.
“We can be as sure as possible. I can’t obviously go into the detailed intelligence but it’s is widely believed in the community and across a number of countries that North Korea had taken this role,” claims Security Minister, Ben Wallace.
These comments come just days after the National Audit Office claimed the NHS left itself wide-open for attack because they failed to apply patches for Windows 7 that had been available for over 2 months. But the NHS is not alone; several other organizations fell victim to the WannaCry ransomware attack because they failed to patch a known SMB vulnerability that Microsoft issued a fix for in March.
While this certainly is not the first time someone has pointed the blame to North Korea, this is the first accusation to come from the UK government. Earlier this month Microsoft’s president Brad Smith was quoted saying, “I think at this point that all observers in the know have concluded that WannaCry was caused by North Korea using cyber tools or weapons that were stolen from the National Security Agency in the United States.”
Read this article on InfoSecurity Magazine