North Korea denies launching the WannaCry cyber attack
[London, UK] North Korea has denied accusations made by the UK government that it launched the global WannaCry ransomware attack back in May, which affected a third of the NHS.
Services at more than 81 trusts across the country were disrupted and the malware reportedly infiltrated systems at approximately 600 GP practices in England.
A new National Audit Office report, published last week, indicates that no patient data was compromised in the attack.
Barts Health NHS Trust in London was one of the worst hit. Speaking at an event this week, Charles Gutteridge, Barts Health CCIO, said 1,700 computers were infected with the WannaCry malware in only seven minutes.
It is estimated that more than 19,000 NHS operations were cancelled in the wake of the cyber incident and NHS England and NHS Digital spent £180,000 on emergency measures deployed to minimise impact of the malware.
But more than 200,000 computers worldwide were hit by the WannaCry virus, which expanded to more than 150 countries.
In an interview for the BBC last week, Security Minister Ben Wallace said the UK government believes North Korea was behind the global cyber attack.
“We can be as sure as possible…I can’t obviously go into the detailed intelligence but it is widely believed in the community and across a number of countries that North Korea had taken this role,” Wallace added.
Researchers have previously said they had found resemblances in the malware with a code used in previous hacks that were reportedly launched by North Korea.
However, the North-Korea Europe Association has now called the accusations made by Wallace ‘groundless speculation’.
The South Korean government estimates Pyongyang has more than 6,800 specialists trained in cyber warfare.