Meet The 22-Year-Old Who Stopped The Massive WannaCry Cyberattack
The WannaCry ransomware is wreaking havoc across the cyber world and experts are working double time to prevent it from doing more damage. Thankfully, people like this certain 22-year-old, are doing their share to keep the cyberspace safe. As a matter of fact, the young British surfer successfully prevented a massive WannaCry attack on U.K hospitals.
The man of the hour goes by Marcus Hutchins. The U.K.-based Hutchins successfully activated a "kill switch" foiling a WannaCry malware attack against the National Health Service or NHS. According to Newsweek, the creator of WannaCry hard coded a kill switch into the malware just in case the cybercriminal decides to halt its spreading. Hutchins was able to activate the kill switch by simply purchasing a domain name for $10.69. The Guardian called Hutchins an "accidental hero" after his vital role in the fight against the malware that already counts around 200,000 victims in 150 countries including FedEx and the NHS.
The young man who works for Kryptos Logic, a tech firm based in the United States, shared in his blog how excited he as when he discovered the solution to the WannaCry problem. Hutchins is like many young adults who work for a firm and spend his free time doing something he loves, which happens to be surfing. The self-taught cybersecurity expert's Twitter handle is MalwareTechBlog and he uses a cat wearing a pair of sunglasses as his profile photo. While that does not say much about the person, his blog post did ask people to "picture a grown man jumping around with the excitement of having just been ransomwared". This is probably a testament to how dedicated he is to his craft.
Hutchins never finished a course as he claims that he is not a graduate. He mentioned that he was supposed to go to a university but was derailed after getting an opportunity to work in security. His lack of a diploma is no hindrance as he is "one of the most intelligent and talented people" as described by Andrew Mabbitt, co-founder of Fidus Information Security.
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WannaCry Virus Halted Honda’s Production For A Day
This virus is the same one that infected over a million machines worldwide after taking advantage of security holes in some Microsoft products. According to a Honda spokesperson, about 1,000 units were not produced as planned because of the attack.
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As long as the link leads nowhere, WannaCry would continue to spread. Unfortunately, reports are now coming in that there is a newer version of the malware, now completely lacking the original kill switch.
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WannaCry was discovered by the NSA and made public by hackers in April. Microsoft did release a patch for the vulnerability in March but computers and networks that didn't update their systems were still at risk.
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