North Korea has dismissed reports linking its isolated government to global cyberattacks last weekend on more than 200,000 computers in 150 countries.
The computers were hit by the WannaCry worm, which seizes systems and demands payment in Bitcoin to return control to users.
Several cybersecurity firms said the code used in the attacks was similar to that used in past hacks linked to North Korea, including attacks on Sony Pictures and Bangladeshi banks.
"It is ridiculous," Kim In Ryong, North Korea's deputy ambassador to the United Nations, told reporters in New York on May 19, suggesting Washington and Seoul were behind the allegation.
"Whenever something strange happens, it is the stereotyped way of the United States and the hostile forces to kick off a noisy campaign" against Pyongyang, he said.
Some computer experts are also questioning why North Korea would carry out a big hack that hurt its two closest strategic partners more than anyone else -- China and Russia.
Moreover, while past attacks by the impoverished country have netted millions of dollars, the weekend attacks yielded less than $100,000 for the perpetrators.
Based on reporting by AFP, AP, and dpa