North Korea has denied accusations made this week by the United States government that it was behind the WannaCry ransomware outbreak in May. It does have a point though that the U.S. could simply be looking for reasons to make the North Koreans more threatening as a justification for war. The NHS was particularly badly affected, largely due to lackadaisical patch management by NHS trust IT departments.
Following an investigation, the United States of America claim North Korea is behind the ransomware, and even says it has evidence. The flaw had been used for years by the US National Security Agency (NSA) for its own ends, but was published at the beginning of the year after a trove of NSA exploits was leaked.
USA officials claim there is "proof", but researchers say that the case is extremely flimsy, resting on common code snippets which don't in any way prove common origins, and the server's use of a North Korean IP address for an apparently unused connection.
The North kept its firm stance against US President Donald Trump's administration, calling the allegation a serious political provocation to damage the country's image.
The same cryptocurrency exchange, operating under a different name, was targeted in April by North Korean hackers, several of the people said. The country has repeatedly denied responsibility for WannaCry and called other allegations about cyber attacks a smear campaign.
"Crystal clear is the goal of the USA trying to link us to the issue of cyber-attack at this very moment when it is hell-bent on making a harshest "sanctions resolution" against us", it said.
In 2014, North Korea was accused of being behind a devastating compromise of Sony Pictures Entertainment.
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. Among them is a U.S. accusation that it hacked Sony Pictures in 2014 over the movie The Interview, a satirical film about a plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.