Dec 19, 2017

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

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Deadly clashes erupt in Delhi ahead of Trump's visit

Rival protesters over the Citizenship Amendment Act in Delhi, India, on Monday. Photo: Yawar Nazir/ Getty Images

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal called for calm Tuesday as deadly clashes erupted in the city's northeast between supporters and opponents of India's controversial new citizenship law.

Why it matters: Per the BBC, a police officer and six civilians "died in the capital's deadliest day" since last year's passing of the Citizenship Amendment Act — which allows religious minorities but excludes Muslims from nearby countries to become citizens if they can show they were persecuted for their religion — hours before President Trump and members of the U.S. first family were due to visit the city as part of their visit to India.

Go deeper: India's citizenship bill continues Modi's Hindu nationalist offensive

South Carolina paper The State backs Buttigieg for Democratic primary

Democratic presidential candidate and former South Bend Pete Buttigieg speaks at an event in Charleston, South Carolina on Monday. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

South Carolina newspaper The State endorsed former Southbend Mayor Pete Buttigieg on Monday night for the state's Democratic primary.

Why it matters: It's a welcome boost for Buttigieg ahead of Tuesday's Democratic debate in South Carolina and the state's primary on Saturday.

White House requests $2.5 billion to fight coronavirus as U.S. cases rise

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The Trump administration sent a letter to Congress Monday requesting a funding commitment of at least $2.5 billion to help combat the spread of the novel coronavirus, as the number of confirmed cases in the U.S. rose to 53.

The big picture: As South Korea and Italy stepped up emergency measures in efforts to thwart the spread of the virus, WHO expressed concern about infections with no clear link to China. COVID-19 has killed at least 2,699 people and infected more than 80,000 others, with all but 27 deaths occurring in mainland China.

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