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North Korean hackers targeted US ‘critical infrastructure’ while Trump kissed up to Kim in Hanoi: NYT cybersecurity reporter

U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un sit down for a dinner during the second U.S.-North Korea summit at the Metropole Hotel in Hanoi, Vietnam February 27, 2019. REUTERS/Leah Millis

New York Times cybersecurity reporter Nicole Perlroth told CNN on Monday that while President Donald Trump was in Hanoi giving Kim Jong-un a pass for murdering American college student Otto Warmbier, North Korean hackers attacked more than 100 sites in the United States and among our allies, including water utilities, oil and gas companies, and “critical infrastructure companies” in the U.S.

Perlroth said these attacks had been begun when Trump “first derided Kim Jong-Un as ‘Rocket Man'” and threatened to wipe North Korea off the map, and had continued through both summits and “all through last fall when Trump was saying that he and Kim Jong-Un were sending fawning love notes to one another and falling in love.”

“These attacks were continuing on some pretty significant critical infrastructure targets here in the United States,” she said. “If you look at map of where the attacks were hitting, the vast majority of them were hitting banks in New York or a little bit more concerningly, oil and gas companies near Houston.”

“When you think about why a nation state would be attacking companies and the energy sector, you start to think more about some of these physical attacks that could cause damage,” Perlroth went on. “I think actually the target that sort of terrified me the most personally as a cybersecurity reporter was a water utility in the United States. We don’t know which one it was, but why would the North Koreans be trying to get into a water utility systems?”

“This is all happening on the back end as Trump’s saying wonderful things about Kim Jong-Un and saying he’s taking him at his word in the Otto Warmbier case,” she added.

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