N Korea denies role in WannaCry ransomware attack

Marcus Newton
December 22, 2017

The U.S. government estimates North Korea's nuclear weapon count is as high as 60.

"But it seems likely, the analysis adds, that the missile had a very light mock warhead, meaning it might lack the power to carry a nuclear payload, which is much heavier, over that distance", the BBC pointed out.

The Daily Telegraph cited "well-placed" sources within the Trump administration as saying it had "dramatically" stepped up preparations for a military response to North Korea's nuclear provocations.

The US attack could target missile launch sites or aim to destroy weapons and munitions depots, the news outlet said.

"The Pentagon is trying to find options that would allow them to punch the North Koreans in the nose, get their attention and show that we're serious", the official said.

The report said the Trump administration had the April 7 strike on a Syrian airfield in mind as a blueprint for the move against North Korea.

The WannaCry ransomware incident impacted 300,000 computers in 150 countries including 48 NHS trusts.

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He is reportedly now considering a similar strike to frighten the North. It does have a point though that the U.S. could simply be looking for reasons to make the North Koreans more threatening as a justification for war.

The attack exploited a Windows vulnerability that was originally developed by the US National Security Agency, but was released in a stolen cache of NSA cyberweapons by a hacking group known as the Shadow Brokers.

Three sources quoted by the paper confirmed military plans for a "bloody nose" strike were being drawn up behind the scenes.

The US does have tools to give North Korea the desired "bloody nose" effect.

The missile launch defied global sanctions on the country led by dictator Kim Jong Un, and it drew ire across the globe, as this was the highest missile North Korea has ever launched - reaching almost 2,800 miles at its highest.

It also warned other nations against "unreasonably following the footsteps of the US". North Korea also has artillery along its border aimed at South Korea.

Forward-deployed Aegis guided-missile destroyers in the US Navy could intercept the missiles as they launched, Sid Trevethan, a former US Navy specialist in ballistic missile defense and electronic countermeasures told Business Insider.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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