The world was rocked by the largest cyber attack in history over the weekend, with over 200,000 victims in 150 countries targeted. The attack took the form of a ransom-ware attack, whereas individuals, corporations, and other organizations were locked out of their computers until they paid a ransom in Bitcoin (of only $300, in some cases).
Despite the size of the attack, hackers only made out with $51,000, which is held in Bitcoin wallets from which they’ll be hesitant to withdraw.
As for the identity of the perpetrators, according to Fox News, Cyber security researchers said Monday they may be able to link North Korea to the unprecedented global cyberattack last week.
Symantec and Kaspersky Lab said that some of the code used in the version of the WannaCry software had also been used in programs run by the North Korea-linked Lazarus Group.
“This is the best clue we have seen to date as to the origins of WannaCry,” Kurt Baumgartner, a researcher at Kaspersky Lab, told Reuters.
The researchers said it was too early to confirm that Pyongyang was behind the cyberattacks. The researchers said they would have to study the code more.
The idea that North Korea could be behind the attack is not a reach. Both U.S. and European officials told the news agency that North Korea should not be ruled out as a suspect.
Hackers for the Lazarus Group were blamed for the theft of $81 million from the Bangladesh central bank. The 2014 Sony hack was also pinned on the hacker collective.
Friday’s attack is believed to be the biggest online extortion attack ever recorded, spreading chaos by locking computers that run Britain’s hospital network, Germany’s national railway and scores of other companies, factories and government agencies worldwide.
Homeland Security officials told Fox News on Monday that a “limited number” of U.S. companies were hit by the WannaCry malicious software.
This comes as tensions with North Korea are already mounting, as they continue their ballistic missile tests in defiance of world pressure. They may not be very good at launching missiles without having them blow up, but they may have some “skilz” at blowing up the internet. Worrisome.