May 16 (UPI) -- Cybersecurity researchers said the WannaCry malware virus code is similar to one used by the cybercrime network that struck Sony in 2014, raising speculation the global attack was sponsored by North Korea.
Kaspersky Labs, a cybersecurity firm based in Moscow, said Googleresearcher Neel Mehta first disclosed the similarity in the code from the WannaCry virus and a virus directed by the cybercrime network called the Lazarus Group in February 2015.
The Lazarus Group is implicated in the Sony hack and the 2016 Bangladesh Bank heist in which hackers attempted to steal nearly $1 billion from the central bank of Bangladesh.
Kaspersky Labs said "the scale of the Lazarus operations is shocking."
"Lazarus is operating a malware factory that produces new samples via multiple independent conveyors," Kaspersky Labs said in a statement.