Tuesday, December 19, 2017

White House Says N Korea Was Behind Massive 'WannaCry' Cyberattack: Act Of War?

White House says North Korea was behind massive ‘WannaCry’ cyberattack in May

North Korea was behind the massive “WannaCry” cyberattack in May that spread around the world costing billions of dollars, White House Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert announced in a Wall Street Journal op-ed Monday.

In the article, entitled, “It’s Official: North Korea Is Behind WannaCry,” Bossert wrote that the Hermit Kingdom was the main culprit behind the May 2017 global cyberattack in which computers running Windows were targeted. During the infamous attack, data were encrypted and ransom payment, in the form of bitcoin, was demanded of users if they wanted their data back.

“Cybersecurity isn’t easy, but simple principles still apply. Accountability is one, cooperation another,” Bossert's op-ed read. “They are the cornerstones of security and resilience in any society. In furtherance of both, and after careful investigation, the U.S. today publicly attributes the massive ‘WannaCry’ cyber attack to North Korea.”

Bossert went on to say the attack spread across the world and rendered hundreds of thousands of computers in in hospitals, schools, businesses, and homes useless unless the ransom was paid.
“While victims received ransom demands, paying did not unlock their computers,” the homeland security adviser said. “It was cowardly, costly and careless. The attack was widespread and cost billions, and North Korea is directly responsible.”
He added that the Department of Homeland Security was not taking the allegation lightly. He said it was based on credible evidence, that the United Kingdom attributes the attack to North Korea and that Microsoft traced the attack to cyber affiliates of the regime.

The U.S. is accusing North Korea of the "WannaCry" cyber-attacks, which caused massive disruptions earlier this year through a computer virus that affected thousands of computers in over 150 countries. 
What's not so hard to see about this is the reason:  Under the Obama Administration in May, 2011, the US set a policy to respond to cyber attacks as "acts of war" - using actual military assets to respond. 
Hence, if we're looking for a reason to attack North Korea over its missiles and its nuclear weapons, we now have one.  All perfectly legal according to the Budapest Convention on Cyber Crime.
President Trump plans to call on “all responsible states” to combat Pyongyang's ability to implement hostile cyber attacks, as well as rally the United Nations Security Council to slap on all "relevant" sanctions in response, a U.S. official familiar with the matter told The Washington Post on Monday.
Tom Bossert, the president's homeland security announced the Trump administration's plan in an op-ed set to be published on Monday evening with an additional statement on Tuesday morning.
Other states have already announced that they believe North Korea created the computer worm that included ransomware, blocking users from accessing their computer until a ransom was paid.
The United Kingdom in a report released in October said the attacks originated from North Korea.
Wanna Decryptor, also known as WannaCry or wcry, was the ransomware programme used in the attack – a malicious software used by hackers to block access to a computer system until a ransom is paid.
The White House's Homeland Security advisor Thomas Bossert said: “The US today publicly attributes the massive 'WannaCry' cyberattack to North Korea.
“We do not make this allegation lightly. It is based on evidence.
“The attack spread indiscriminately across the world in May. It encrypted and rendered useless hundreds of thousands of computers in hospitals, schools, businesses and homes. 

“While victims received ransom demands, paying did not unlock their computers. It was cowardly, costly and careless. The attack was widespread and cost billions, and North Korea is directly responsible.
“Other governments and private companies agree. The United Kingdom attributes the attack to North Korea, and Microsoft traced the attack to cyber affiliates of the North Korean government.”
In October, the British Government said it believed “quite strongly” Pyongyang was responsible for the ‘WannaCry' ransomware attack.
But following accusation from Theresa May’s security minister Ben Wallace, North Korea hit back saying the statement was “despicable” and “an act beyond the limit of our tolerance”.
A statement from the state's propaganda news agency KCNA slammed the allegation and warned Britain to “seriously reflect” on what was being claimed. 
The statement said: “The UK has made another attempt to incriminate the DPRK as a cyber-criminal. 
“The DPRK has clarified our principled stand, on every opportune occasion, to oppose terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.”

Pay special attention to the part that says " . . .we will exhaust all options before military force WHENEVER WE CAN . . ."
This policy document was issued by the United States in accordance with the Budapest Convention on Cyber Crime. 

Since it entered into force, important countries like Brazil and India have declined to adopt the Convention on the grounds that they did not participate in its drafting. Russia opposes the Convention, stating that adoption would violate Russian sovereignty, and has usually refused to cooperate in law enforcement investigations relating to cybercrime.

On 1 March 2006, the Additional Protocol to the Convention on Cybercrime came into force. Those States that have ratified the additional protocol are required to criminalize the dissemination of racist and xenophobic material through computer systems, as well as threats and insults motivated by racism or xenophobia.

Its ratification by the United States Senate by unanimous consent in August 2006 was both praised and condemned. The United States became the 16th nation to ratify the convention. The Convention entered into force in the United States on 1 January 2007.

Under the US "International Strategy for Cyberspace (5/11) the US found that: 
States have an inherent right to self-defense that may be triggered by certain aggressive acts in cyberspace…. Certain hostile acts conducted through cyberspace could compel actions under the commitments we have with our military treaty partners…. When warranted, the United States will respond to hostile acts in cyberspace as we would any other threat to our country.
Also then points to Glenn Greenwald who notes, (back in 2012) the Pentagon is similarly on the record arguing that cyberattacks are acts of war:
Needless to say, if any cyber-attack is directed at the U.S. –rather than by the U.S.–it will be instantly depicted as an act of unparalleled aggression and evil: Terrorism. Just last year, the Pentagon decreed that any cyberattack on the U.S. would be deemed "an act of war."

So there you have it, folks.  All wrapped up in a nice red bow for Christmas.  Now that we officially blame North Korea for the WannaCry ransomeware attach, we  have the legal authority under International Law, backed-up by Treaty, to attack North Korea as a "self-defense response" to their WannaCry ransomware cyber-attack.
And here's the icing on the cake: Since North Korea "attacked" first, China is OFF THE HOOK to defend them!

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