Experts question North Korea role in WannaCry cyberattack

Some businesses in Asia disrupted by cyber attack authorities brace for more

The North Korea-linked hacking group has been behind several attacks, including an $81 million bank heist.

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This story has been corrected to show that when Haley was answering Putin she was referring to comments about the United States, not the United Nations.

Simon Choi, a director at Hauri Labs, an anti-virus software company in South Korea, found that the hackers of the recent global WannaCry cyberattack used some code in an earlier version of the ransomware that appeared in programs used by the Lazarus Group, which is linked to North Korea.

"As you can see it's pretty thin and all circumstantial", Prof Woodward said.

Haley said the US and China have been working on "a unified plan" on how to approach North Korea that would include stronger implementation of existing sanctions and tougher new sanctions.

The Department of Homeland Security began an "aggressive awareness campaign" to alert the tech industry to the importance of installing the patch that Microsoft issued in March that protected users from the vulnerability exploited by the attack, a USA official working on the attack told Reuters.

Experts say that has left millions of Chinese computers without security support and made China among countries most affected by the WannaCry "ransomware" attack that has hit more than 150 countries.

After days of disruptions affecting networks worldwide, a top U.S. official said the number of computers affected had reached 300,000, but that infection rates had slowed.

More news: Republicans starting to turn as committee asks to see Comey documents

James Lewis, a cybersecurity expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, said USA investigators are collecting forensic information - such as internet addresses, samples of malware or information the culprits might have inadvertently left on computers - that could be matched with the handiwork of known hackers.

"Neel Mehta's discovery is the most significant clue to date regarding the origins of WannaCry", said Russian security firm Kaspersky, but noted a lot more information is needed about earlier versions of WannaCry before any firm conclusion can be reached.

The security firms Kaspersky and Symantec analysed the two samples and found that part of the WannaCry code had actually been copied from Contopee. The United States accused it of being behind a cyber attack on Sony Pictures in 2014.

South Korea's Han said Sunday's test was "successful in flight."It is considered an IRBM (intermediate range ballistic missile) of enhanced caliber", he said, referring to a class of missile created to travel up to 3,000 to 4,000 km (1,860 to 2,485 miles).Asked whether North Korea's missile program was developing faster than expected, he said: "Yes."Han said the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system detected the missile, marking the first time it had been put to use since its deployment".

Several Asian countries have been affected by the malware, although the impact has not been as widespread as some had feared. It did not name any of the entities.

One more disturbing theory to consider: the attack that swept the globe last weekend could be just a dry run for something much worse.

Taiwan Power Co. TAIWP.UL said that almost 800 of its computers were affected, although these were used for administration, not for systems involved in electricity generation.

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