Turnbull condemns North Korea for WannaCry attack

Turnbull condemns North Korea for WannaCry attack

Backs up Trump’s administration announcement

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull

The Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, has condemned North Korea for the use of 'WannaCry' ransomware earlier this year.

In May, more than 75,000 attacks were reported across 99 countries, with the UK National Health Service (NHS) compromised, the Russian government infected, the Spanish telecommunications sector at a standstill and an Australian business being also affected by it.

Known as WannaCry and variants of that name, the malicious software locked computers in thousands of locations worldwide, demanding US$300 ransom per machine to be paid in cryptocurrency Bitcoin to unlock devices.

The Australian Government has condemned the attack to businesses and public institutions around the world, in a statement, a day after the Trump administration publicly blamed North Korea for unleashing the attack.

“The 'WannaCry' attack showed the rapid, global damage cybercrime can cause to businesses and critical infrastructure,” Turnbull said in a statement.

“Based on advice from our intelligence agencies, and through consultations with our allies, we confirm that North Korea carried out the 'WannaCry' ransomware campaign.”

The Australian Government said the use of cybercrime poses grave risk to the global economy and can have a devastating effect on government operations and services, business activity and the safety and welfare of individuals.

“The Government is implementing its Cyber Security Strategy to protect against cyber-attack, and increasing cooperation with the international community through the recently launched International Cyber Engagement Strategy to reinforce control against of malevolent use of cyberspace," Turnbull said.

“The Government is committed to making the Australian public sector, businesses and community resilient to evolving cyber threats.”

Homeland security adviser to President Donald Trump, wrote in a piece published on Monday night in the Wall Street Journal, that the attack was widespread and cost billions, and North Korea is directly responsible.

"North Korea has acted especially badly, largely unchecked, for more than a decade, and its malicious behavior is growing more egregious," Bossert wrote. "WannaCry was indiscriminately reckless."

Earlier today, the director-general of the New Zealand Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB), Andrew Hampton, said he is concerned at international reports which link North Korea to the WannaCry ransomware attack.

And North Korea is not the only culprit. Hampton said in the 12 months to June 2017, 122 of the 396 serious incidents recorded by the GCSB’s National Cyber Security Centre involved indicators that have been linked to state-sponsored actors.

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Tags Malcolm Turnbullnorth koreaAustralian GovernmentWannaCryWannaCrypt

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