A recent worldwide cyber attack affected at least 99 countries and caused worldwide chaos over the last week. The #Cyber attacks were an attempt by the hackers to get cash for data. The attacks were so widespread that Microsoft issued a patch for all the older Microsoft systems.

Ransomware seeks cash for data

Channel 6 ABC Waite reported that this was one of the largest #Worldwide Cyber Attacks on computer systems. It crippled Great Britain's hospital system and affected banking, factories, government agencies, and transport systems in many other countries across the globe. Because the goal was to extort cash, Microsoft changed its policy on issuing updates and issued a patch to help older Microsoft operating systems avoid being infected by the ransomware.

Advertisements
Advertisements

The name of the software was called "WannaCry," and it caused malware infections in millions of computers. For patients in Great Britain, this meant that treatment was either delayed or canceled while technicians sought to remove the infection from the affected systems. Brazil disconnected its social security system from public access while train systems were hit in both Russia and Germany. Security firms Kaspersky Lab and Avast identified the infection and said that Russia was hit the worst by it. The identity of those behind the attack has yet to be discovered.

Researcher accidentally discovers kill switch

CBS News reported that a 22-year-old researcher only identified as MalwareTech accidentally discovered how to shut down the infection and halted the outbreak of the malware. By the time the #Kill Switch was discovered, it had already shut down the hospital system in Great Britain.

Advertisements

The discovery saved governments and businesses millions of dollars across the world, and it saved the United States from being affected by the outbreak.

MalwareTech said he returned from lunch on Friday to discover the news of the outbreak, and he began to analyze a sample of the malicious software. During the analysis, he discovered an unregistered domain name in the code. He promptly registered the domain name so he could discover how to track or stop the malicious software. In the United States, 28-year-old Darren Huss, a research engineer for security firm Proof Point, discovered that the creators of the malicious software had installed a kill switch. He snapped a screenshot of the kill switch and promptly posted it on Twitter. Both Malware Tech and Huss are part of a larger global community of cyber security experts and firms that watch out for the release of malicious software and seek to stop or prevent these types of attacks.