Expert finds more possible North Korea links to cyberattack

Symantec FireEye Palo Alto Cybersecurity

Kaspersky Lab said: "The similarity of course could be a false flag operation".

Cybersecurity researchers has revealed that the "WannaCry" which has infected several computers around the world was developed using the same codes that were used in the 2014 hack of Sony Pictures.

It was reacting to an analysis of the codes that were found in an earlier version of the virus and which was first identified by a security researcher from Google.

According to Mehta's discovery, the "Lazarus Group" that works on behalf of North Koreans may be behind the attack as the hacking group has, in the past, used the same coding and tools as were used in "WannaCrypt" - the software used in the current hacking into the Microsoft operating software, the BBC reported on Tuesday.

The U.S. -based software company Symantec and Kaspersky Lab based in Russian Federation said that some code in an earlier version of the virus had also been found in programs used by the Lazarus Group, a hacking operation said by many experts to be run by North Korea.

Cybersecurity firms Symantec and Kaspersky have independently found distinct instances of overlapping code between WannaCry and Lazarus Group.

So what of the similarities between the WannaCry and Lazarus code samples? The investigators however said more investigation sis needed. "This can be an attempt to cover traces conducted by orchestrators of the WannaCry campaign".

In the case of WannaCry, it is possible that hackers simply copied code from earlier attacks by the Lazarus Group. It wouldn't stand up in court as it is. Researchers from various security firms believe that the Lazarus Group is financed by the government of North Korea.

In addition to past alleged cyber attacks, North Korea had also been accused of counterfeiting $100 bills which were known as "superdollars" or "supernotes" because the fakes were almost flawless.

Security officials from the United States and Europe, meanwhile, also said that it was too early to pin the attack on North Korea, but the country is now one of the suspects.

The U.S. government blamed North Korea for the hack on Sony Pictures Entertainment that leaked damaging personal information after Pyongyang threatened "merciless countermeasures" if the studio released a dark comedy movie that portrayed the assassination of Kim Jong Un.

Revelations of the resemblance to previous cyber attack by the Lazarus Group has prompted the need for further investigations.

Finally, if the plan was simply to make money, it's been pretty unsuccessful on that front too - only around United States dollars 60,000 has been paid in ransoms, according to analysis of Bitcoin accounts being used by the criminals.

On Friday, Europol Director Rob Wainwright said, "The global reach is unprecedented". That's right, the vulnerability that someone stole from the NSA may have been used to create a highly viral Windows virus that affected more than 300,000 computer systems in over 150 countries in a matter of days.

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