Tom Bossert, who is the White House homeland security adviser late on Tuesday commended the effort of Facebook Inc. and Microsoft Corp in helping to stop the cyber-attack launched by North Korean hackers.
The White House commended the two firms on Tuesday as they helped shut down North Korean hacking operations that were in play last week. This was revealed during a press conference, with Tom Bossert accusing North Korea of being the masterminds behind the WannaCry ransomware attack earlier this year. The WannaCry ransomware attacked and locked hundreds of thousands of Windows computers across the globe. According to U.S officials, the hack was meant to create chaos rather than make them money.
The company behind Windows software, Microsoft uncovered evidence that showed the role North Korea played in the hack as they were traced back to them, Bossert added. He further stated that tech giants Microsoft and Facebook took personal actions last weeks as they continue to fight against the hacker from North Korea.
He stated that “Facebook took down accounts that stopped the operational execution of ongoing cyber-attacks. Microsoft acted to patch existing attacks, not just the WannaCry attack.”
With cybersecurity something of a forgotten issue over the years, the topic has resurfaced across the globe this year, with the main catalyst being the attacks that affected personal finances, home devices, and the political scene. For a long time, researchers have issued a global warning about the dangers of hackers, but the public didn’t pay attention until now.
North Korea has been wrapped up in several cyber-attack allegations. The U.S government also concluded that hacker from the country was responsible for the data breach of Sony Pictures’ networks in 2014, an attack that resulted in the theft of Social Security numbers for 47,000 employees, with some embarrassing internal emails and documents leaked by the hackers.
To stop these cyber-attacks, defenses are being improved in companies and government agencies across the country. Facebook, for example, has decided to ban multiple accounts used to coordinate and carry out North Korea’s attacks, Bossert further added.
A spokesman of Facebook while commenting on the latest development stated that “Last week, Facebook, Microsoft and other members of the security community took joint action to disrupt the activities of a persistent, advanced threat group commonly referred to as ZINC, or the Lazarus Group.”
Microsoft on the other commented via a blog post by Brad Smith, their chief legal officer. She stated that the company strengthened “Windows defenses to prevent reinfection” and also cleaned up infected computers hit by North Korean hackers. Today’s announcement represents an important step in government and private sector action to make the internet safer.”