New research links WannaCry hackers to China

midian182

TechSpot Editor
Staff member

As the WannaCry crisis abates, government agencies and security researchers from around the world continue their search for those behind the ransomware. Two weeks ago, the finger pointed at North Korean-run hackers the Lazarus group. Now, there’s evidence to suggest the perpetrators are linked to China.

That’s the view of web intelligence firm Flashpoint. It carried out a linguistic and cultural review of the WannaCry ransom notes, which, as the malware infected computers in more than 100 countries, were written in 28 different languages.

Analyzing each note for content, accuracy, and style, the company concluded that virtually every note had been translated using Google Translate. The only exceptions were those written in English, traditional Chinese, and simplified Chinese, which appeared to have been composed by a human.

While the English version of the ransom is almost perfect, it contains what Flashpoint calls “a glaring grammatical error” that suggests the author “is non-native or perhaps poorly educated.” There are a few small errors in the English note, but the most glaring is, “But you have not so enough time.”

The grammar, punctuation, syntax, and character choice in the Chinese notes suggest they were written by a native speaker. More tellingly, the content, length, and tone differs from the other notes. It uses a term for week (li bai) that is more common in south China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Singapore, Flashpoint says. But Dr Zhang Kefeng, a professor of Chinese language at Jimei University in Xiamen, told the South China Morning Post that the word is also common in northern China.

"It is difficult to spot geographical differences in written Chinese nowadays, especially among educated people," he said.

With Google struggling to translate English to Chinese and Chinese to English, it seems the English version was used to translate the note into other languages, while the Chinese notes were written by a person fluent in the language.

Flashpoint points out that its findings are not enough to determine the nationality of the author(s). But the fact the Lazarus group is said to operate out of China makes this discovery all the more interesting.

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Mike OD

TS Rookie
Since it very obviously originated in the NSA, the agency ought to be dismantled, as it is now supplying our "not friends" with weaponry, whether intentionally or inadvertently. ANY alleged federal "security" (LOLOL!) agency that cannot keep it's own secret's secret is worthless! What's next? Giving nukes to the fat jerk in N Korea? Time for it to end!
 

Nobina

RTX 2080 Ti and iPhone XS MAX 512GB
Since it very obviously originated in the NSA, the agency ought to be dismantled, as it is now supplying our "not friends" with weaponry, whether intentionally or inadvertently. ANY alleged federal "security" (LOLOL!) agency that cannot keep it's own secret's secret is worthless! What's next? Giving nukes to the fat jerk in N Korea? Time for it to end!
Who would've though that would ever happen?
 

JudasSheep

TS Booster
Since it very obviously originated in the NSA, the agency ought to be dismantled, as it is now supplying our "not friends" with weaponry, whether intentionally or inadvertently. ANY alleged federal "security" (LOLOL!) agency that cannot keep it's own secret's secret is worthless! What's next? Giving nukes to the fat jerk in N Korea? Time for it to end!
Because it's easy to find spies and insiders, right? You must have tons of experience catching moles.
Dismantle national security agencies across the globe in all countries while you're at it. I am sure every country in the world is up standing and noble. No one would re-build their security agencies.

Your statement is an example of living in a fantasy world and ignorance. Since they can't keep secrets, they should be dismantled.... They may as well give nukes to NK. Extreme thinking much? Take your blinders off and wake up to the real world.
 
R

Raoul Duke

What's next? Giving nukes to the fat jerk in N Korea? Time for it to end!
well if there ever are nukes heading to North Korea, they will be on the exploding end, not the receiving end IMHO
 

Hexic

TS Evangelist
TechSpot Elite
Since it very obviously originated in the NSA, the agency ought to be dismantled, as it is now supplying our "not friends" with weaponry, whether intentionally or inadvertently. ANY alleged federal "security" (LOLOL!) agency that cannot keep it's own secret's secret is worthless! What's next? Giving nukes to the fat jerk in N Korea? Time for it to end!
Because it's easy to find spies and insiders, right? You must have tons of experience catching moles.
Dismantle national security agencies across the globe in all countries while you're at it. I am sure every country in the world is up standing and noble. No one would re-build their security agencies.

Your statement is an example of living in a fantasy world and ignorance. Since they can't keep secrets, they should be dismantled.... They may as well give nukes to NK. Extreme thinking much? Take your blinders off and wake up to the real world.
You take YOUR blinders off. Christ, how could you be so blind?

Manbearpig is totally real, guys. I'm super serious.
 
R

Raoul Duke

What's next? Giving nukes to the fat jerk in N Korea? Time for it to end!
well if there ever are nukes heading to North Korea, they will be on the exploding end, not the receiving end IMHO
That's harsh. No body deserves to be nuked. Why do we forget that there are kids among them as well.
absolutely no one deserves it, in fact I wish there was a worldwide ban on nuclear/thermonuclear devices. I feel fortunate that we have survived their existence so far with only 2 of them being dropped on people.
I was just pointing out that no one was going to 'give' N.Korea nuclear weapons. However, if they keep seeking to develop them and a ballistic missile that can hit Japan and continental USA there will be a war that may escalate into nuclear
 

stewi0001

TS Evangelist
TechSpot Elite
absolutely no one deserves it, in fact I wish there was a worldwide ban on nuclear/thermonuclear devices. I feel fortunate that we have survived their existence so far with only 2 of them being dropped on people.
I was just pointing out that no one was going to 'give' N.Korea nuclear weapons. However, if they keep seeking to develop them and a ballistic missile that can hit Japan and continental USA there will be a war that may escalate into nuclear
 
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JudasSheep

TS Booster
You take YOUR blinders off. Christ, how could you be so blind?

Manbearpig is totally real, guys. I'm super serious.
Care to elaborate on what I am blind to? Last I checked I never claimed I created the internet nor am I a supporter of the climate change crowd. Do you think I don't know what I am talking about? You don't know me.
 
R

Raoul Duke

[.........Do you think I don't know what I am talking about? You don't know me.
well, logically speaking, if he doesn't know you, then how does he know that you know what you are talking about?
disclaimer: I mention logic only, I cannot either confirm or deny any views on any topic of any person on this thread.
 
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Opus

TS Enthusiast
absolutely no one deserves it, in fact I wish there was a worldwide ban on nuclear/thermonuclear devices. I feel fortunate that we have survived their existence so far with only 2 of them being dropped on people.
I was just pointing out that no one was going to 'give' N.Korea nuclear weapons. However, if they keep seeking to develop them and a ballistic missile that can hit Japan and continental USA there will be a war that may escalate into nuclear
By far only the human species has created ways to annihilate its existence off the face of planet earth along with countless other species. I am unable to comprehend the idea of killing anybody over the difference of opinion. That's the highest degree of crime AFAIK.
 

captaincranky

TechSpot Addict
That's harsh. No body deserves to be nuked. Why do we forget that there are kids among them as well.
So what? They'll only grow up to be more bellicose North Koreans.

One well placed nuke at one of Kim Jong Un's military parades, would rid the world of this egocentric, spoiled brat, of a paranoid delusional jacka** forever.

By the way, depending on your take on infancy, baby rats are cute too, in their own way, I suppose.
 
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Hexic

TS Evangelist
TechSpot Elite
Care to elaborate on what I am blind to? Last I checked I never claimed I created the internet nor am I a supporter of the climate change crowd. Do you think I don't know what I am talking about? You don't know me.
Dude, sarcasm. Hence the Manbearpig comment... It's a thing.. just YouTube it.