The UK government has blamed North Korea for WannaCry – the comprehensive ransomware cyberattack that struck countries around the world.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s ‘Today” program, UK Home Office minister Ben Wallace claimed that a foreign state was behind the ransomware attack while insisting that the suspect “quite strongly” is North Korea.
The attack crippled computer systems across the UK with the National Health Service (NHS) particularly hit hard.
Damningly, Wallace stated:
This attack, we believe quite strongly that it came from a foreign state. North Korea was the state that we believe was involved this worldwide attack.
Wallace also claimed “we can be as sure as possible” while insisting “it is widely believed in the community and across a number of countries that North Korea had taken this role.”
He went on to suggest that the attack could have been motivated by the isolated state to gain access to foreign currencies.
North Korea has been potentially linked to other attacks about raising foreign currency.
Meanwhile, the head of the National Audit Office in the UK warned the NHS and the Department of Health to “get their act together” following the WannaCry attack. According to the official, the bodies are still at the risk of suffering a more damaging, sophisticated attack. An independent investigation by the NAO had previously concluded that “basic IT security” measures could have prevented the attack.
Altogether, the cyberattack led to the direct cancellation of 19, 500 medical appointments including 139 potential cancer referrals. Five hospitals had to divert ambulances away after being locked out of their computers on the day of the attack. The NAO report also found that the malware infected machines at 81 Health Trusts across England, a third of the total 236 in the country, as well as computers at nearly 600 GP surgeries.
Worryingly, a statement from the NAO report read:
NHS trusts had not acted on critical alerts from NHS Digital and a warning from the Department of Health and the Cabinet Office in 2014 to patch or migrate away from vulnerable older software.
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