22-year-old Briton Who Stopped ‘Ransomware’ Virus Gets One-week Off As Reward

22-year-old Briton Who Stopped 'Ransomware' Virus Gets One-week Off As Reward
22-year-old Briton Who Stopped ‘Ransomware’ Virus Gets One-week Off As Reward

22-year-old Briton Who Stopped ‘Ransomware’ Virus Gets One-week Off As Reward

A 22-year-old cybersecurity expert has been rewarded with a week off by his employers after helping the world combat a devastating cyberattackthe BBC reported Saturday.

The Briton, who tweets under the handle MalwareTechBlog and works for security firm, Kryptos Logic, has received worldwide accolades after disclosing that his efforts to stop the strain of ransomware, which encrypts a computer and demands a $300 ransom before unlocking it, had paid off.

“The attention has been slightly overwhelming,” he told the BBC. “The boss gave me another week off to make up for this train-wreck of a vacation.”

He had previously taken a week off from work, but decided to look into the virus after hearing about the damage it had caused across the globe.

The virus, also known as “WannaCry” or “Wannacrypt”, is believed to be part of the United States National Security Agency hacking tools that were leaked earlier in the year.

The ransomware virus swept computers running on Microsoft Windows Operating System, especially those not currently supported such as Windows XP, Windows 8 and Windows Server 2003, across the globe.

In March, Microsoft, in an unusual move, released a patch for all the old, non-supported operating systems to protect computers vulnerable to the NSA leaks.

But the ransomware virus proved so malicious that Microsoft had to issue another patch for all Windows OS-based computers dating back as far as 14 years.

Notable organisations affected by the virus since Friday include the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK, along with Telefonica in Spain. Courier giant, FedEx, Sky News reported.

Russia was particularly hard hit, with the country’s Interior Ministry acknowledging damages to more than 1,000 computers in its network.

Germany, Spain, Sweden, China and India have all reported some degree of infections by the ransomware, although it remained unclear how many people had paid the ransom since the disruption broke out Friday.

No case of ransomware has been reported in Nigeria as at Sunday afternoon, but the federal government issued an advisory on Saturday on how Nigerians could protect their machines from falling victim.

From an interactive map embedded on MalwareTech’s blog, Africa and North America appeared to have largely escaped being hit by ransomware.

MalwareTech took credit for ‘accidentally’ halting the virus from spreading further in a blog postSaturday.

The 22-year-old realised that the cyber criminals who developed the virus had included a “kill switch,” which the hackers designed to stop the virus to victims that paid the $300 ransom via Bitcoin.

MalwareTech said he bought the domain name of the kill switch for $10.69 and activated it to make the virus stop spreading.

His intervention could no longer save the countries and organisations that were already affected by the attack.

He also warned that the hackers could redesign the virus and launch it against some countries where old Windows computers are still widely in use.

“It’s very important everyone understands that all they need to do is change some code and start again. Patch your systems now!” he said.

ENJOY FREE CONTENTS FROM US
IN YOUR EMAIL

Breaking News, Events, Music & More

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.




ENJOY FREE CONTENTS FROM US
IN YOUR EMAIL

Breaking News, Events, Music & More