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WannaCry ransomware may have been concocted in North Korea

Published May 16th, 2017 6:50AM EDT

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Well, isn’t this ironic? The NSA-derived Windows malware that shook the world over the weekend may be a North Korean creation, new revelations show. 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. And North Korea, the same country believed to have been behind the Sony hacked, could be responsible for the attack. It’s exactly the Sony hack that suggests the connection.

Security researchers discovered on Monday that the WannaCry malware was developed using the same code that was used in late 2014 to hack Sony, The Los Angeles Times reports.

“We believe this might hold the key to solve some of the mysteries around this attack,” Kaspersky Labs said after looking at a few lines of duplicated code discovered by a Google security researcher in an earlier version of WannaCry.

“While these findings do not indicate a definite link between Lazarus and WannaCry, we believe that there are sufficient connections to warrant further investigation,” security firm Symantec said.

The Lazarus Group is believed to be the hackers network that breached the Sony servers more than two years ago. The Times notes that the group has been connected to other attacks, dating back to at least 2009, including hits in South Korea, the US, Poland, and Bangladesh.

If the latter sounds familiar, that’s because recent reports linked North Korea to a huge bank heist last year that targeted the Bangladesh Bank. Then, hackers stole more than $80 million.

It’ll be interesting to see how Donald Trump reacts to this news, especially considering all of its moving pieces, and whether he’ll take any action against North Korea. If only Trump understood how the cyber works. After all, a 400-pound hacker may have been doing all of this from his bed.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.