Experts question North Korea role in WannaCry cyberattack

A hacking group linked to North Korea has used code that's identical to some of the malware used in the Wanna Cry attack security researchers say. Here North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is seen visiting a factory in an image released from North Korea

One of Google's top researchers, Nell Mehta posted the image of a code that pinpoints some similarities between the WannaCry virus and a failed cyber-attack attempt of North Korea.

Investigators said they had detected code similar to that used by a shadowy cybercrime network implicated in the Sony attack, the Lazarus Group, though they stressed that more investigation was necessary.

Though North Korea has never admitted any involvement in the Sony Pictures hack, security researchers and the United States government are confident in the theory and neither can rule out the possibility of a false flag.

Chinese state media instead blamed the United States, and said it was "hypocritical" for the USA to accuse China of state-sponsored cyber espionage.

"The cyberattack, which was carried out via the Internet around May 12, swept through a great number of government agencies and business in some 150 countries, including the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China, around the world", the Rodong Sinmun, an official daily of the North's ruling Workers' Party, reported.

The attack includes elements that belong to the U.S. National Security Agency and were leaked online last month.

A researcher from South Korea's Hauri Labs said on Tuesday their own findings matched those of Symantec (SYMC.O) and Kaspersky Lab, who said on Monday that some code in an earlier version of the WannaCry software had also appeared in programs used by the Lazarus Group, identified by some researchers as a North Korea-run hacking operation.

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There is another possibility that "Lazarus Group" may be working independently and without the instructions from North Korea, the report added. The 2014 Sony hack was also pinned on the hacker collective.

Global cybersecurity firms have pointed at North Korea as the mastermind behind the latest cyberattack.

But the paper did not comment whether the North had suffered the attack.

Experts think they have uncovered evidence that could potentially connect North Korea to the recent WannaCry cyber attack that paralyzed computers worldwide.

Several Asian countries have been affected by the malware, although the impact has not been as widespread as some had feared.

"The real situation may be serious". Taiwan Power Co. said that nearly 800 of its computers were affected, although these were used for administration, not for systems involved in electricity generation.

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