North Korea carried out WannaCry ransomware attack, says Microsoft

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The head of Microsoft has said that the WannaCry ransomware which affected computers in over 150 countries was the work of North Korea.

However, neither Russia – who had also been linked to the attack, or North Korean acknowledge any role in the attack.

This is the first time a ‘big player’ has blamed North Korea outright, with Brad Smith, President of Microsoft, telling ITV News that Pyongyang-based hackers stole the US-based NIA (National Intelligence Agency)’s tools (Eternal Blue) and then attacked computers on a worldwide scale.

Cyberattacks have increased in 2017 and Smith puts this down too emerging nations not have the infrastructure to cut out hacking.

Smith called upon world leaders to form a consortium on the same lines as the Geneva Convention, whereby organised hacking is a violation of international laws and the perpetrators will be hit by severe sanctions.

Although Smith didn’t blame Windows XP directly he did say, “We repeatedly asked people, we explained to people, we virtually pleaded with people ‘please don’t rely on software that now belongs in a museum.”

We frequently advise readers on techniques that they can use to minimise the risk of devices being hit by malware and ransomware.

– Make sure your computer is using the latest update of software. This goes for machines operating both Windows and Apple software
– Pay for a premium anti-virus package that offer the latest protection
– Don’t open emails from unknown senders
– Disable ActiveX in Microsoft Office applications
– Disable remote connections
– Don’t install plugins

If you follow these simple rules, you should remain free of both ransomware and malware – something that we all want to achieve.

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