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Tuesday, December 26, 2017, 12:19
DPRK's UN envoy demands US prove ransomware claim
By ​Associated Press
Tuesday, December 26, 2017, 12:19 By ​Associated Press

In this May 15, 2017, file photo, employees watch electronic boards monitoring possible ransomware cyberattacks at the Korea Internet and Security Agency in Seoul, Republic of Korea. A DPRK ambassador to the United Nations says the U.S. claim that Pyongyang was behind the Wannacry ransomware attack earlier this year is a baseless provocation and demanded Washington back up its accusations with evidence. (PHOTO / YUN DONG-JIN/YONHAP VIA AP, FILE)

TOKYO — The Democratic People's Republic of Korea's (DPRK) envoy in charge of U.S. affairs at the United Nations demanded Washington provide evidence to back up its claim Pyongyang was behind the Wannacry ransomware attack, an allegation he said was a "baseless provocation" being used to generate tensions.

READ MORE: US blames DPRK for 'WannaCry' cyber attack

Pak Song-il told The Associated Press in a telephone interview from New York late Monday that Pyongyang sees the allegation as an effort to create an "extremely confrontational atmosphere."

The WannaCry ransomware attack infected hundreds of thousands of computers worldwide and crippled parts of Britain's National Health Service in May

"If they are so sure, show us the evidence," he said.

The WannaCry ransomware attack infected hundreds of thousands of computers worldwide and crippled parts of Britain's National Health Service in May.

U.S. Homeland security adviser Tom Bossert wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed published last week that the U.S. administration had determined DPRK was behind the WannaCry attack. He said its finding of responsibility is based on evidence that has been confirmed by other governments and private companies, including the United Kingdom and Microsoft.

He wrote that DPRK would be held accountable.

DPRK's state-run media quickly condemned the accusation, saying Pyongyang would never tolerate such "reckless" claims. It called Bossert's claim a "grave political provocation" and vowed to retaliate.

Officials in Washington and Seoul have accused DPRK of launching a series of cyberattacks in recent years, including the hack on Sony Pictures Entertainment over the movie "The Interview," a black comedy about a plot to assassinate DPRK leader Kim Jong-un.

Pyonyang has denied those accusations as well.

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