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Why the U.S. is blaming North Korea for the WannaCry hack

White House homeland security adviser Tom Bossert speaks during the daily news briefing at the White House on Sept. 11. Photo: Carolyn Kaster / AP

According to White House Homeland Security Advisor Tom Bossert, there are "technical links to previously identified North Korean cyber tools" that helped the U.S. trace the origin of the WannaCry ransomware attack, which stemmed from the NSA cyber arsenal. However, Bossert told reporters Tuesday morning that much of the information that led the U.S. to declare North Korean responsibility is private.

Context: WannaCry is thought to have been launched via an advanced persistent threat group called Lazarus Group, which is suspected of having links with North Korea. That group was suspected of launching an attack on Sony before the release of "The Interview," which showed Kim Jong-un being assassinated. The group also allegedly tried to pull off a bank heist via the central bank of Bangladesh.

What else we know:

  • Bossert said he doesn't believe that North Korea got a lot of the money it raised from the WannaCry attack.
  • The Department of Homeland Security is now calling on all companies to commit to U.S. collective defense, per Jeanette Manfra, assistant secretary for the Office of Cybersecurity and Communications at DHS. But Bossert wouldn't go so far as to say that an attack on a U.S. company constitutes an attack on the country.
  • DHS plans to move beyond offering voluntary assistance on cybersecurity issues and instead plans on intervening directly when necessary, per Manfra.

Go deeper: The world's top cyber powers

Jonathan Swan 4 hours ago
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A stunning leak rattles Trump and his aides

President Trump discussed his call with Russian President Vladimir Putin during an Oval Office meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Photo: Kevin Dietsch, Pool / Getty Images

One of the most startling leaks — and stunning revelations — of this whole administration has left President Trump and his senior staff furious and rattled. The Washington Post reports in its lead story: "Trump did not follow specific warnings from his national security advisers [yesterday] when he congratulated ... Putin on his reelection — including a section in his briefing materials in all-capital letters stating 'DO NOT CONGRATULATE.'"

Why it matters: The speed and sensitivity of the leak prompted immediate finger-pointing within the administration, as aides reeled from a leak that could only have come from a small group of people, each of whom is trusted with sensitive national secrets.

Mike Allen 4 hours ago
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Scoop: Zuckerberg finally plans to speak

Mark Zuckerberg in 2016. Photo: Lluis Gene / AFP / Getty Images

Axios is told that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg plans to speak out in the next 24 hours on the data-harvesting revelations that have hammered his stock price, inflamed lawmakers in D.C. and Europe, and trapped his social network in a crisis of trust.

Quote"It’s a big deal, and he knows it."
— A source close to Zuckerberg

What's been happening: We're told that Zuckerberg was initially more focused on how to fix the problems than on what to say. But that left a vacuum that provoked merciless coverage, increased lawmakers' suspicions, and even left some employees demoralized.