Hackers mint crypto-currency with technique in global 'ransomware' attack

Joan Terry
May 17, 2017

North Korea's missile and nuclear tests pose a threat to every country in the world, and the global community has to make a choice between supporting Pyongyang and facing the wrath of Washington, said U.S. ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley.

U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley accused North Korea on Tuesday of intimidating the entire global community with its nuclear program, military ability and cyberattacks, and said any country that doesn't implement United Nations sanctions is supporting Pyongyang's actions.

Suffering under increased economic sanctions for its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, it would not be surprising for North Korea to attempt to make up for lost revenue through illicit cyber theft and extortion.

Trump has called for an immediate halt to North Korea's missile and nuclear tests and U.S. Disarmament Ambassador Robert Wood said on Tuesday that China's leverage was key and Beijing could do more.

Its latest ballistic missile launch, in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions, was on Sunday which it said was a test of its capability to carry a "large-size heavy nuclear warhead", drawing Security Council condemnation.

Besides worries about North Korea's missile and nuclear weapons programs, cyber security researchers have found technical evidence they said could link the North with the global WannaCry "ransomware" cyber attack that has infected more than 300,000 computers in 150 countries since Friday.

"That's what we are working on now. We don't have it done yet", Haley said. "We have not seen anything from them in the past week but we are encouraging them to continue moving forward".

Uruguayan Ambassador Elbio Rosselli, the current council president, said after the meeting that members are united in condemning the latest missile launch as "a serious threat to worldwide peace".

Russian Federation has recently been accused of cyber meddling in several countries, but Putin said his country had nothing to do with the attack.

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Among the possible measures could be an oil embargo, trade bans and targeted sanctions on North Korean individuals and companies, but these hinge on China's willingness to apply such measures.

The Security Council adopted two sanctions resolutions previous year to ramp up pressure on Pyongyang and deny leader Kim Jong-Un the hard currency needed to fund his military programs.

Kim personally oversaw Sunday's test, the official Korea Central News Agency (KCNA) said, and pictures by state media showed him gazing at the missile in a hangar before the launch.

US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley pledged Tuesday that the US plans to "tighten the screws" on North Korea's nuclear ambitions.

North Korea has defied all calls to rein in its nuclear and missile programs, even from China, its lone major ally, calling them legitimate self-defense.

In all, six sets of sanctions have been imposed on North Korea since it first tested an atomic device in 2006. Pyongyang is threatening a sixth nuclear test.

"We can do a lot of different things that we haven't done yet".

Lee said authorities from the South go to the Panmunjom communications office at the border between the two Koreas every day to check for possible responses from North Korea.

The launch represented a "significant success", Bruce Klingner, a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation think tank, told AFP.

Other reports by BadHub

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