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Cybersecurity researcher finds kill switch to stop spread of ransomware cyber-attack

Looks like the spread of the WannaCry ransomware that affected nearly ninety nine countries and thousands of computers has been curtailed - at least for now.

By: Tech Desk | New Delhi | Updated: May 13, 2017 7:17 pm
Cyberattack, international cyberattack, NSA, NHS cyberattack, NSA tool, ransomware attack, ransomware, global cyberattack, ransomware attack in 99 countries, technology, technology news Thousands of computers and multiple companies and government organisations in ninety nine countries have been affected in a global cyberattack.

Looks like the spread of the WannaCry ransomware  that affected nearly ninety nine countries and thousands of computers has been curtailed – at least for now. All thanks to a U.K-based cybersecurity researcher by the name of Malware Tech, who discovered a “kill switch” that eventually helped to curtail the spread of the ransomware.

The researcher reportedly registered a web domain used by the attackers, and took control of the domain. The trick worked, and the researcher was able to track the ransomware’s spread. Later Cisco’s Talos security group confirmed WannaCry had stopped spreading.

Talos also confirmed the malware responsible for the cyberattack was a ransomware variant known as ‘WannaCry’. The company, in a blog post said, “WannaCry does not appear to be only be leveraging the Eternal Blue modules associated with this attack framework, it is simply scanning accessible servers for the presence of the Double Pulsar backdoor. In cases where it identifies a host that has been implanted with this backdoor, it simply leverages the existing backdoor functionality available and uses it to infect the system with WannaCry”.

For those who’re already affected, it’s little too late. The researcher however warned that people “need to update their systems ASAP” to avoid attack.  In the near future, the perpetrators behind Wana Decryptor ransomware can well deploy a new version with a different domain.

Also read: Massive ‘Ransomware’ attack hits 99 countries around the world

Thousands of computers and multiple companies and government organisations in ninety nine countries have been affected in a global cyberattack. The cyberattack has used hacking tools developed by the US National Security Agency which were leaked last month by a hacking group opposed to Donald Trump.

Computers have been infected with “ransomeware” demanding payments as much as $600 to restore access. Russian cyber security company Kaspersky Lab said its researchers had observed more than 45,000 attacks in 74 countries. Later, security company Avast said there had been 57,000 infections in 99 countries with the UK and Russia being the top targets.

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