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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order66's picture

Riiiiigggghhht.

Fits the narrative for starting a war with them.

Those tools explicitly focused on attribution to enemy states to make them look culpable.

Nice work NSA.

WTFUD's picture

If NK had 10% of Vichy DC's resources they'd be mustard, the dog's bollocks, i tell you! If al-CIAd'uh had any sense they'd be arming NK & not in a JV with ISISrael.

HRH Feant2's picture

You have to be fucking kidding me! This tired old story again? Damn someone thinks people are very, very stupid to (t)roll this shit out!

sinbad2's picture

Well sadly people are very stupid.

The US Government could convince most Americans that Russia had invaded Mars, if they wanted to.

Catahoula's picture

Good as anybody to blame

logicalman's picture

No creativity from these buggers, just repeat the same crap over and over.

Just fill in the demon of the day blank and make shit up.

I was born at night, but not last fucking night.

StychoKiller's picture

Umm, would ya believe the Iranians (in the Library, with a keyboard?)  :>D

SHADEWELL's picture

Moar pre Text for wAr

Moar moar moar

lakecity55's picture

"The Art of the War," by DJT.

RawPawg's picture

Gulf Of Tonkin 2.0

SantaClaws's picture

Was Anthony Weiner.  At least he kept his pants on.  His therapy's working, sort of.

Sonny Brakes's picture

That's a shame. A computer virus comes along after NSA software gets your fuckin' network busted to shit.

CRM114's picture

I reckon it was Captain Flint

 

"..death to Captain Flint!"

 

bonus points if you get the reference ;)

Davidduke2000's picture

The usual bullshit, the CIA ran the virus that did not infect any serious us operations and try to blame it on NK. the problem with their story is nobody believe anything coming from the us government or any us institution, everything is fraud and fake.

EndTheGodDamnFed's picture

I don't believe it.  Vault 7, remember

lakecity55's picture

nsa hq:

"Hey, let's make the Norks look like the Hackers!"
"Great idea, El Tee."

Ricki13th's picture

NK is the new boogie man. A country that can't feed their people is hacking the entire the global with ransonware that first world systems can't defend against. Are you serious?

Anderson Coopers Gerbil's picture

The Banksters want war and war it must be

adampeart's picture

Oh, the Norks? Why do I find this hard to believe? Something about Sony?

Dragon HAwk's picture

Where did NK get the electric to run the servers? then again they really may be Windows XP experts.  /s

  big win for the NSA when they reveal the bitcoin path,  reveal their ability or Hold. I bet on Hold.

Laughing.Man's picture

IMO, it's the Icelanders who are responsible for the hack.  It's always the quiet ones.   :s

The Power Vertical's picture

makes sense to me; genius on the part of kim too, most of the machines hit were running XP, nk just switched over from win3.0 to xp like last year

BustainMovealota's picture

The usual narrative for the naive

AlbertthePudding's picture

Not the Russians eh? Then it must be the guys who can't fire off a skyrocket without it fizzing; the good old North K's! Bollocks!

Swampthedrain's picture

the deep state is probably throwing this flimsy pretext out there to see if Trump is willing to go for it like the Syria bombing.

FixItAgainTony's picture

Anyone remember the spin they put on the Fort Detrick anthrax attacks? Kids, back in those days tptb really put some time and effort into framing somebody and investigative foot-dragging so that you got your tax dollars worth. Nowadays you get insulted with a halfhearted, 48 hour, "usual suspects" psyop and then on to the next episode of learned helplessness. Lame.

short screwed's picture

I don't know where this North Korea is, but we should bomb it!

RichardENixon's picture

It's somewhere in Africa, close to Australia I think. They didn't cover geography much when I was at Harvard.

MoneyIsS1n's picture

North Korean hackers using Russian model computers with integrated Iranian plutonium processors. (Assembled in China)

Oddly enough using Micro$oftware exploits. (o_0)

I wonder what they bought first with the ransom bitcoins?
Mebbe more NSA code? <3

loveyajimbo's picture

Great opportunity to make an alliance with China and Russia and turn NK into a sheet of glass. 

Win-win-win.

francis scott falseflag's picture

 

NK is closer to China than Israel is to Washington.

 

Time to wake up your brain.

bluskyes's picture

Bullshit.

It was the NSA keeping Amerika safe.

silverer's picture

It's true. The North Koreans managed to isolate the software the CIA was using to interfere with its launches, it they launched it back. Sounds plausible, doesn't it? LOL. If you are an American, chances are you'll believe it came from some Linux laptop in South Africa if it was put on the news enough. The US is the "no proof for anything" accusation champion.

barysenter's picture

Never let a crisis go to waste. Right, criminals?
http://biblehub.com/kjv/matthew/12.htm#33

rejected's picture

ROFLMFAO.

I told the Mrs. N Korea would probably get blamed for this yesterday.  The US government / Media is so pathetically challenged they are forced to use the same narrative.

LN's picture

But of course, These people right?...

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/02/140226-north-korea-satel...

It's a wonder us dumb asses can keep up with their technology.

LN

StychoKiller's picture

Ain't it obvious?  The Norks are using advanced "Dark Matter/Energy" technology!  WE. ARE. DOOMED! :>D

LN's picture

Dark lighting too.  I'll bet they can shine darkness, and produce cold too.

LN

Gohigher's picture

WOLF ! WOLF ! Wolf ! WOLF ! WOLF ! Wolf !WOLF ! WOLF ! Wolf !WOLF ! WOLF ! Wolf !WOLF ! WOLF ! Wolf !WOLF ! WOLF ! Wolf !WOLF ! WOLF ! Wolf !WOLF ! WOLF ! Wolf !WOLF ! WOLF ! Wolf !WOLF ! WOLF ! Wolf !WOLF ! WOLF ! Wolf !WOLF ! WOLF ! Wolf !WOLF ! WOLF ! Wolf !WOLF ! WOLF ! Wolf !

THe sound of clicking as the world's TV bullshit turns OFF !!

Reverend.Pajama.Pants's picture

Statements from the financialist semi-official media outlets concerning North Korea have zero credibility. It's all propaganda on all sides.

francis scott falseflag's picture

 

Launch an ICBM

 

Get blamed for a major virus the next day

 

It's Newton's Third Law of tit for tat

King of Ruperts Land's picture

This is not the Kim man's style. If he can build nukes, launch rockets into space, print virtually perfect us $100 bills, and have a huge conventional military advantage against his enemies, would he stoop to this teenager in moms basement style operation? I think not.

KuriousKat's picture

Why did NSA create a Ransomware program  to extort  money...Is this how they made their pocket change? This is crazy