White house: Microsoft, Facebook helped stop North Korean hackers

Updated: Dec 21, 2017, 11:32 IST | Agencies

American tech giants Microsoft and Facebook recently acted on their own to disrupt the activities of North Korean hackers and prevent the operational execution of ongoing cyberattacks in the US, the White House said

American tech giants Microsoft and Facebook recently acted on their own to disrupt the activities of North Korean hackers and prevent the operational execution of ongoing cyberattacks in the US, the White House said. White House Homeland Security Advisor Tom Bossert said US President Donald Trump had rallied allies and responsible tech companies around the world to increase the security and resilience of the Internet. "We applaud our corporate partners, Microsoft and Facebook especially, for acting on their own last week without any direction by the US government or coordination to disrupt the activities of North Korean hackers," he said.

Tom Bossert, White House homeland security advisor. pic/afp
Tom Bossert, White House homeland security advisor. Pic/AFP

Bossert said Microsoft and Facebook and other major tech companies acted to disable a number of North Korean cyber exploits and disrupt their operations as the North Koreans were still infecting computers across the globe. "They shut down accounts the North Korean regime hackers used to launch attacks and patched systems," he said. North Korea has done everything wrong as an actor on the global stage that a country can do, he added. Bossert said Trump had used "just about every lever you can use, short of starving the people of North Korea to death, to change their behaviour".

"So we don't have a lot of room left here to apply pressure to change their behaviour. It's, nevertheless, important to call them out to let them know that it's them and we know it's them," he said. "At this point, some of the benefit that come from this attribution is letting them know that we're going to move to stop their behaviour," he said.

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