MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Cybersecurity experts believe North Korea may be behind the global “ransomware” attack that hit computer systems in at least 150 countries Friday.
Just as North Korea boasted about the successful launch of a nuclear-capable rocket, technology experts say they have evidence North Korean hackers could be behind another international threat, last weekend’s global cyber attack.
Gregory Clark is CEO of Symantec, one of the computer security firms that made the North Korea connection.
“In this case, there is a fragment of the technology that was associated with Lazarus,” Clark said.
“The Lazarus Group” is a hacker collective with ties to North Korea and Symantec discovered portions of its malware codes in “WannaCry,” the hacking program used in last weekend’s cyber attack.
Lazarus was also implicated in the 2014 hack of data from Sony Pictures, in apparent retaliation for its release of the film “The Interview” that mocked North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
And it was connected with last year’s theft of $81 million dollars from a Bangladesh account at the Federal Reserve Bank in New York.
US officials blamed both hacks on North Korea.
The latest attack was widespread, forcing the shut-down of hospitals and other businesses around the world.
It exploited a known vulnerability in an older Microsoft program, encrypting files to make them inaccessible until a ransom of $300 was paid.
Now experts say it’s still too early to blame it on North Korea because the culprits may have just used the Lazarus malware, perhaps to make it look like a North Korean attack.