North Korean programmer charged for NHS cyber attack

North Korea programmer charged for NHS cyber attack

Friday, September 7, 2018

A computer programmer has been charged in the US for working for the North Korean state in a series of cyber attacks, including the WannaCry ransomware that crippled the NHS.

The FBI have also accused Park Jin Hyok in connection with a hack on Sony Pictures and the targeting of British firm making a series about North Korea.

Park is believed to be in North Korea but it emerged on Thursday he had been charged with conspiracy in a Californian court over the attack on the NHS in May last year, which spread to 150 countries.

Park was allegedly working for a front company for the North Korean state, also conspired to steal 81 million dollars (£63 million) from a Bangladeshi bank.

In May last year, dozens of NHS trusts were infected with the WannaCry malware that demanded a ransom to resume computer access.

Some 6,912 appointments were cancelled and 1,220 “pieces of diagnostic equipment” were also infected.


‘Havoc across the world’

Steve Rodhouse, an NCA director general, celebrated a collaboration between UK and US investigators.

He said: "These charges show that we will not tire in our efforts to identify those who believe they can hide behind a computer and cause havoc across the world, regardless of their motivation or status.

"The Wannacry attack highlighted that cyber crime affects not just the country's prosperity and security, but also affects our everyday way of life."

The FBI's criminal complaint also said British production company Mammoth Screen had suffered an electronic intrusion in 2014.

It came after it approved a series called Opposite Number, which was to involved a British nuclear scientist taken prisoner in North Korea.

The WannaCry attack on the NHS was halted by 24-year-old Marcus Hutchins, from Ilfracombe, Devon.

He is currently facing trial in the US accused by the FBI of creating a different malware previously, which he denies.