News reports quoted a senior Trump administration official as saying that the United States had surmised "with a very high level of confidence" that the Lazarus Group, a hacking organisation that works on behalf of the North Korean government, was behind the WannaCry ransomware attack.
"After careful investigation, the United States is publicly attributing the massive WannaCry cyberattack to North Korea", Thomas Bossert, assistant to President Donald Trump for homeland security and counterterrorism, said at a briefing at the White House.
Bossart is expected to discuss the assertion that North Korea was to blame for the ransomare attack that infected more than 230,000 computer systems in over 150 countries earlier this year.
The public shaming of the state, which has not been confirmed by the White House, is created to hold the North accountable for its actions and "erode and undercut their ability to launch attacks", the official said.
General McMaster said the USA needed to work hard to put an end to Pyongyang's threat to world peace as the rogue state continues to taunt the global community with its defiance.
As cyberattacks take aim at larger targets and higher ransoms, and with the price of bitcoin spiking, CrowdStrike CEO George Kurtz said there's "absolutely" reason to believe North Korea has an appreciating pile of bitcoin to fund future attacks. "We are not alone with our findings, either", he wrote.
"Microsoft and Facebook and other major tech companies acted to disable a number of North Korean cyber exploits and disrupt their operations as the North Koreans were still infecting computers across the globe".
"The administration has used just about every lever you can use short of starving the North Korean people to death to change their behavior", he said. Computers that were affected had not been updated with security patches that would have blocked the attack.
He said North Korean hackers were still at work last week, and were shut down by a retaliatory response by the US and others.
Bossert is slated to make the official statement with more details on WannaCry from Whitehouse on Tuesday.
Pyongyang had always been suspected of being behind the "WannaCry" attack, which hit entities including the US -based shipping company FedEx, Spanish telecommunications firm Telefonica, and Britain's National Health Service, which forced hospitals to cancel surgeries and divert ambulances to other facilities. We share nearly all the vulnerabilities we find with developers, allowing them to create patches.
"We hope that they decide to stop behaving badly online", Bossert told reporters. So he bought it, and effectively activated a kill switch and ended the spread of WannaCry. "It's the flawless currency for North Korea to be hoarding".
While North Korea is the main focus of Bossert's claims in the Op-Ed, he does not forget to talk about alleged 2016 election meddling by Russian hackers or the US's issues with Iran either.