Malware. Data theft. Ransomware. Everyone wants to know who was behind the latest audacious attack. Several attempts have been made over the years to use linguistics to identify perpetrators, but when it comes to attribution, there are limitations to using this method.
Linguistic analysis came up recently when analysts at intelligence firm Flashpoint said there was a Chinese link with the WannaCry ransomware. Much of the security research up till then had pointed to North Korean ties, as the attacks reused infrastructure components associated with the shadowy Lazarus Group. Before that, a Taia Global report suggested the The Shadow Brokers’ manifesto was actually written by a native English speaker, despite the broken English. Linguistic analysis also was used to suggest that Guccifer 2.0, who released documents stolen from the Democratic National Committee, was likely not Romanian as claimed. Back in 2014, Taia Global said linguistic clues pointed the Sony breach to Russian actors, and not the North Koreans as the United States government had claimed.
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