The Trump administration on Monday evening publicly acknowledged that North Korea was behind the WannaCry computer worm that affected more than 230,000 computers in over 150 countries earlier this year. As a result, the administration will be calling on “all responsible states” to counter North Korea’s ability to conduct cyber attacks and to implement all “relevant” United Nations Security Council sanctions, according to a U.S. official familiar with the matter.
“The Cyber attack was widespread and cost billions, and North Korea is directly responsible,” Thomas P. Bossert, Trump’s homeland security adviser, said in a journal published in the Wall Street Journal on Monday. “We do not make this allegation lightly. It is based on evidence. We are not alone with our findings, either.”
He is expected to issue a public statement very soon on this. In June, The Washington Post reported that the National Security Agency had linked North Korea to the creation of the worm. In October, the British government declared that it believed North Korea was the culprit. The following month, the CIA issued a similar classified assessment, which has not been previously reported.
The official noted that the U.S. government has released technical details of North Korean cyber-tools and operational infrastructure and has worked with other countries to lessen North Korea’s ability to conduct further tests or generate illicit funding.
The May 12 global cyberattack affected critical sectors, including health care, “potentially putting lives at risk,” said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a move not yet public.