White House reveals North Korea launched the WannaCry cyber-attack

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un | AP

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un | AP

This is seen by the administration as an option short of full-scale nuclear war, and the only such option available to them since they're bound and determined not to engage in direct diplomacy with North Korea. According to the report, the White House may decide to destroy North Korean launch sites before they are used to test missiles or target weapons arsenals.

North Korea yesterday denied U.S. accusations it was behind the WannaCry global ransomware cyberattack, saying Washington was demonising it.

The North kept its firm stance against US President Donald Trump's administration, calling the allegation a serious political provocation to damage the country's image.

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WannaCry infected some 300,000 computers in 150 countries in May, encrypting user files and demanding hundreds of dollars from their owners in exchange for the keys to get their files back.

North Korea had not tested a missile in more than two months - odd, considering the regime led by dictator Kim Jong Un has conducted now-16 missile tests this year alone, and also launched a nuclear bomb.

Bossert went on to write that the allegation was based on evidence also agreed upon by other governments and private companies. If the United States attempts to strike a launch site with Tomahawk missiles, North Korea may interpret the incoming salvo of missiles targeted near their supreme leader as an outright act of war.

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Those conclusions didn't sit well with the North Koreans. "The indiscriminate use of the WannaCry ransomware demonstrates North Korean actors using their cyber programme to circumvent sanctions", Ahmad said.

Facebook and Microsoft staving off enemy attacks either paints a rosy yet fearsome portrait of tech companies today or a rather dismaying one of national security - or perhaps a little of both. Lately, North Korea has varied its launch sites, likely to make it harder for the United States to track and possibly intercept them ahead of time.

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