North Korean Hackers Emerge As "Culprits" Behind Global Malware Cyberattack

Tyler Durden's picture

Remember when North Korea "hackers" breached several firewall layers at Sony, exposing gigabytes of confidential data, only for it to eventually emerge that it was all the work of a disgruntled Sony employee?

Apparently not, because the same plot line is being re-run all over again.

Two of the world's largest anti-virus companies said they are "looking into clues" that suggest a North Korea-linked group may be behind last week's cyberattack. According to Reuters, Symantec and Kaspersky are investigating whether hackers from the Lazarus Group were responsible for infecting an estimated 300,000 machines in 150 countries. The two companies have said that "some code in an earlier version of the WannaCry ransomware had also appeared in programs used by the Lazarus Group, which researchers from many companies said is run by North Korea."

While we reserve judgment at the amusing possibility that North Korea could have brought a substantial portion of the world's computer infrastructure to a halt until there is some actual evidence, it is worth noting that said inquiries emerged shortly after the White House said that paying ransom money to unlock files encrypted by the global cyberattack does not work. It was not clear how North Korean hackers planned to convert bitcoin into any practical currency in a nation whose major banks have been barred from SWIFT.

In any case, speaking to reporters on Monday afternoon, Homeland security adviser Tom Bossett told reporters he is not aware of a case where transferring $300 in Bitcoin - the amount demanded from victims of last week's attack - has "led to any data recovery". The Trump administration estimated that less than $70,000 has been paid to the criminals behind the ransomware so far.

During the White House briefing, Bossert also said no federal systems in the US had been affected by the malicious software, known as WannaCry. He told reporters that he had spoken with his British counterparts, who said they now had a "feeling of control" after the attack struck 47 NHS organisations.

Meanwhile, security experts have been monitoring the Bitcoin accounts used to collect the ransom payments, because although account holders can remain anonymous, clues can often emerge when the money is converted back into real-world currency. Earlier today, in its latest update on the cyberattack, Europol said it was the "largest ransomware attack observed in history".

The traditional scapegoat for - well - pretty much anything these days, Russia, denied it had anything to do with the cyberattack, with President Vladimir Putin describing it as payback for the US intelligence services. His remarks echoed what Microsoft's chief legal officer Brad Smith said on Sunday night when he slammed the NSA for developing the original code used in the attack, which was later leaked in a document dump. Microsoft said the attack was a "wake-up call" and identified "nation-state action and organised criminal action" as "the two most serious forms of cybersecurity threats in the world today". The company also said it had released a security update back in March to protect Windows system computers against such attacks, but said many computers "remained unpatched globally".

Adding insult to (apparently North Korean injury), Putin said during a trip to Beijing: "A genie let out of a bottle of this kind, especially created by secret services, can then cause damage to its authors and creators." 

As for North Korea being the scapegoat, we admit we were wrong: we were certain the Kremlin would be blamed again, in line with what was leaked over the weekend.

For now, however, if the narrative around North Korea launching the worst malware cyberattack against the world is repeated often - and loud - enough, it will quickly become fact, even if no actual evidence is presented. If so, watch out for literal fireworks as all those whose who were impacted by the worm demand Kim's blood, either literally or figuratively.

As for reality, and North Korea's true level of technical sophistication, well...

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Darktarra's picture

I don't believe it was North Korea.  Try NSA, or CIA instead.


Cynicles II's picture

nah, the NSA pulled an oopsie and left the malware shit for open view on the net

Cynicles II's picture

Really, just a simple accident, a mistake. Ask the media, they will tell you...

DownWithYogaPants's picture

CNN == the CIA News Network.

Never going to get a straight story because if there is no angle why bother giving orders to report on it?

ACP's picture

Hey now, malware doesn't hack people. People hack people.

Bill Gates, your OS just sucks.

Microsoft is the Yugo of operating systems.

AltRight Girl's picture

Maybe idiots should stop clicking on porn links/attachments and they won't be hacked.

And will have a better sex life

Clicking on Porn is Ruining Men’s Sex Drive According to Study

Chuck-Norris's picture

When I use an infected computer, the malware asks for help to be freed of Chuck Norris.


mdr attitude's picture

If losers won't stick their fingers in every internet hole, Antivir companies will go bankrupt.

God must love idiots, that's why he made so many of them

BullyDog's picture

Those lying psychopathic cnuts.

I hope that if they attack NK a nuke goes off in the chosen land, that will soon stop all these fake wars.

Fester's picture

Maybe the GF or wifey needs to satisfy their man.

Porn is certainly destructive but men don't normally look at porn after they just got their rocks off.


overbet's picture

Analyzing and comparing code for similarities. That sounds like a horrible fucking job.

JackT's picture

Didn't we already learn that the NSA can implant foreign signatures? We'll probably never really know

HRH Feant2's picture

Yes. Unfortunately some people have the attention span of a goldfish.

StychoKiller's picture

An "oldy but goodie:"

"At a recent computer expo (COMDEX), Bill Gates reportedly compared the
computer industry with the auto industry and stated :

'... if GM had kept up with the technology like the computer industry has,
we would all be driving $25.00 cars that got 1,000 miles to the gallon.'

In response to Bill's comments, General Motors issued a press release stating:

If GM had developed technology like Microsoft; we would all be driving cars with the following characteristics:

1. For no reason whatsoever, your car would crash twice a day.

2. Every time they repainted the lines in the road, you would have to buy a new car.

3. Occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no reason.
You would have to pull over to the side of the road, close all of the windows, shut off the car, restart it, and reopen the windows before you could continue.  For some reason you would simply accept this.

4. Occasionally, executing a maneuver such as a left turn would cause your car to shut down
and refuse to restart, in which case you would have to reinstall the engine.

5. Only one person at a time could use the car unless you bought "CarNT", but then you would have to buy more seats.

6. Macintosh would make a car that was powered by the sun, was reliable, five times as
fast and twice as easy to drive-but would only run on five percent of the roads.

7. The oil, water temperature, and alternator warning lights would all be replaced by a single "General Protection Fault" warning light.

8. New seats would force everyone to have the same sized butt.

9. The airbag system would ask, "Are you sure?" before deploying.

10. Occasionally, for no reason whatsoever, your car would lock you out and refuse to let you in
until you simultaneously lifted the door handle, turned the key and grabbed hold of the radio antenna.

11. GM would require all car buyers to also purchase a deluxe set of Rand McNally road maps
(now a GM subsidiary), even though they neither need nor want them. Attempting to delete this
option would immediately cause the car's performance to diminish by 50% or more. Moreover, GM would become a target for investigation by the Justice Dept.

12. Every time GM introduced a new car, car buyers would have to learn to drive all over again because none of the controls would operate in the same manner as the old car.

13. You'd have to press the "Start" button to turn the engine off.

HRH Feant2's picture

Not sure if you watched Anthony Bourdain's show last night where he went to Laos and a hotel that was used by whom? The CIA! I have always figured Bourdain (and some other so-called tourist chefs) are nothing more than CIA agents with a great legend.

Lorca's Novena's picture

Even that dude who travels getting drunk?? Man, i wanted to intern...

But your right. Even that smug asshole rich kid Assblaster Cooper is see eye ay.

HRH Feant2's picture

What a perfect cover! There are a number of Kung fu forms or styles. Preying Mantis, tiger, horse, and yes, drunken monkey. I forget the movie that had a character that played drunken monkey perfectly. Until he was balancing on poles and everyone else had been knocked out!

Oh yes, pretty boy Cooper was brought in at a very young age. Gay, a Vanderbilt, and a reporter. Perfect legend.

07564111's picture

article is proof that they can make this shit up.

Implied Violins's picture

...especially knowing that the USA has hardly been affected by the virus. All this will do is cause Kim to make bigger missiles.

dark fiber's picture

Well yes but they feed it to a bunch of Americans anyway.  So you know, your bullshit only has to be as good as your audience.

Sans-culottes's picture

It was the Norks aided by the Russians and the Chinese hackers. Cyber wargames


Lumberjack's picture

I add that this hack stinks. If it were done by those wanting to create holy ole hell. It would be in the middle of the winter. I call this one out now and assume that the developers of said software are actually behind this one.

Raffie's picture

The Sony thing I thought was done by disgruntled employee.

HRH Feant2's picture

Based on the articles I read at the time, that was my conclusion as well. I always thought blaming that on NK was complete and utter bullshit.

lakecity55's picture

It was only blamed on them for insurance purposes.


emersonreturn's picture

NK, really?? i'm with you.  i can't imagine anyone really believing NK.

Racer's picture

If most dumb-sters (rubbish bins), errr people don't know where NK is then what do you expect

subversion's picture

The joke is believing that NK has an advanced "hacking" program. Do they have anything higher than a 386 in their country?

. . . _ _ _ . . .'s picture

‘He who exercises no forethought but makes light of his opponents is sure to be captured by them.’ -Sun Tzu

It’s important to properly assess your opponent without prejudice or assumption.

Who knows? I mean, it's not like they spend all their money on social programs. Their biggest trading partner is China. Maybe they act as China's proxy, a sort of Asian privateer. Anyone with a 'puter, a curious nature, and lotsa' time can develop skills.

It probably wasn't NorK, but then again, it could have been anybody.

subversion's picture

America has far more enemies within than without.

lakecity55's picture

They are very capable of hacking a Commodore.

revjimbeam's picture

 in the same day we have Assad using crematoriums ala hitler and the NorKs hacking teh interwebs ala 'the Russians!'.... you would think for $600 million our propaganda would be at least a little more believable. this is why i refuse to by american, we just cant make shit anymore

Albertarocks's picture

You're 100% correct.  The lies coming out of the war mongers sound like they came out of the mouth of a 7 year old.  Not a soul on this planet believes all the "blame Russia" horseshit and the chances that this latest hacking came out of Korea are somewhere between a million to one and zero.  It's all lies aimed at demonizing some phantom "enemy" and everyone on this planet knows it.  These fuckers want war but they're just having such a hard time justifying one.  How about we just jail them all and end global conflict for good.

Laughing.Man's picture

I prefer public execution.  Jail is too good for them.

CrabbyR's picture

Hard to believe the couldn`t decompile the virus in a second of two, find the domain in another few seconds and trace it back to the source..These guys do this for a living

Best and brightest TOOLS...with an unlimited taxpayer budget...stay tuned for part #2 How we will protect you from the cyber terrorists

(some lucky malware tech got lucky.....yah ok...)

dirty fingernails's picture

How convenient! Please, disregard the contents of Vault 7 and the documented ability and application of faking the source of a hack.

Sans-culottes's picture

We have to go to dare Kim send a worm when the USA has been using cyber weapons to delay his "dangerous" launches! /Sarc

WTFUD's picture

If this latest 'Act of War' was committed without Trumplestiltskin's knowledge/blessing then Deep State's running the Plantation, if they weren't already!

45North1's picture

Of course its North Korea because we aren't as mad with Russia as we were.


Milton Freewater's picture

They probably gassed the Syrians as well!


Joebloinvestor's picture

Yeah, because thier missile technology is first rate.

Umh's picture

If they did and that is a big if the NSA gave them a headstart.

OCnStiggs's picture

Are the Nork wheel Hats actually toilet bowls covered in fabric?

That doesn't sound right because NK only has a 11 working toilets for a country of 25 million.

Those must be kimchee bowls.

_SILENCER's picture

NK couldn't reboot a casio watch

Being Free's picture

Wa Po have sources that say Trump did it.

dark fiber's picture

You don't suppose this is a bit just too fucking convenient do you?  I mean, just a little bit too convenient.

WTFUD's picture

Just a tad and much more believable/palatable than 9/11 to a less than discerning public.

Dapper Dan's picture

And I thought all along it was the Canadians, that just shows what I know.