Author: Yoni Heisler / Source: Yahoo! News
A little more than a week ago, a particularly nasty piece of ransomware dubbed “WannaCry” began spreading at an impressive clip all across the globe. Targeting Windows machines — and based off of a leaked NSA exploit — impacted users found that all of their computer files had been encrypted and could only be recovered by making a $300 payment in Bitcoin.
With the ransomware showing no signs of slowing down, an enterprising researcher named Marcus Hutchins managed to effectively stop WannaCry dead in its tracks by inadvertently enabling a kill-switch. As we noted last week, WannaCry at the point of infection attempts to communicate with a domain name consisting of a long string of nonsensical characters. If the domain is registered, WannaCry will stop spreading. If the domain is not registered, WannaCry will go on about its havoc-wreaking business.
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After taking a look at the WannaCry code, Hutchins spotted an odd-looking domain name and out of mere curiosity registered it, having no idea at the time that he was enabling the…
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