N.Korea rejects USA offer of talks

N.Korea rejects USA offer of talks

N.Korea rejects USA offer of talks

The regime was "directly responsible" for the WannaCry attack that crippled hospitals, banks and other infrastructure in May, a senior White House official said. In just a few days, WannaCry managed to infect upwards of 300,000 machines in almost 150 countries.

Thomas Bossert, a Homeland Security adviser to President Donald Trump, laid out the Administration's case against North Korea in an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal.

South Korea also a year ago accused North Korea of hacking the personal data of more than 10 million users of an online shopping site and dozens of email accounts used by government officials and journalists.

He said Washington must lead efforts to cooperate with other governments and businesses to "mitigate cyber risk and increase the cost to hackers", and thus improve internet security and resilience.

Bossert called the attack in which victims received ransom demands to unlock their computers "cowardly, costly and careless".

North Korea on Tuesday rejected a recent offer by the United States for talks without preconditions, calling it a ploy to make Pyongyang give up its nuclear programme.

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Bossert added: "North Korea has acted especially badly, largely unchecked, for more than a decade, and its malicious behavior is growing more egregious".

The vulnerability was first discovered by the National Security Agency (NSA), which wrote WannaCrypt, the ransomware used in the attack. "When we must, the U.S. will act alone to impose costs and consequences for cyber malfeasance", Bossert added.

North Korea's official Rodong Sinmun newspaper reported, "There is no change in our stance that we will not budge an inch in our march toward strengthening our nuclear force". "The United Kingdom attributes the attack to North Korea, and Microsoft traced the attack to cyber affiliates of the North Korean government", Bossert stated. In November, the USA also charged three Chinese nationals for hacking, Bossert added.

He said that the administration would continue to use its "maximum pressure strategy to curb Pyongyang's ability to mount attacks, cyber or otherwise".

Ahead of the claims about North Korea being responsible for the WannaCry attack, on Monday, the USA military released photos of massive joint drills it underwent recently with its ally South Korea, and have called the exercise 'Warrior Strike IX'.

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