A screenshot shows a WannaCry ransomware demand, provided by cyber security firm Symantec, in Mountain View, California, U.S. May 15, 2017. (Xinhua/REUTERS)
WASHINGTON, Sept. 6 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. Department of the Treasury on Thursday sanctioned one entity and one individual related to the government of Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), accusing them of conducting several alleged cyber-attacks.
According to a statement issued by the Treasury, a computer programmer was charged with "having engaged in significant activities undermining cybersecurity through the use of computer networks or systems against targets outside of North Korea on behalf of the Government of North Korea or the Workers' Party of Korea."
He was accused of being "part of the conspiracy responsible for conducting, among others, the February 2016 cyber-enabled fraudulent transfer of $81 million from Bangladesh Bank, the ransomware used in the May 2017 'WannaCry 2.0' cyber-attack, and the November 2014 cyber-attack on Sony Pictures Entertainment."
"We will not allow North Korea to undermine global cybersecurity to advance its interests and generate illicit revenues in violation of our sanctions," said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
In a related action, the U.S. Department of Justice unsealed criminal charges against the same individual on Thursday. The company he worked for was also sanctioned.
The WannaCry ransomware attack in 2017 affected hundreds of thousands of computers worldwide. The United States has threatened that the DPRK would be held accountable for the attack.
Pyongyang has rejected the U.S. accusation, saying that the United States was inciting a global confrontation against the DPRK by forcibly linking it to cyber attack incidents.
Pyongyang added that it has nothing to do with the cyber attacks and it does not "feel a need to respond, on a case-by-case basis, to such absurd allegations of the U.S."