This Guy Saved the World from a Cyber Attack
Heroes come in all shapes and sizes. But the 22-year-old Brit, Marcus Hutchins, who stopped the WannaCry virus, says he was just doing his job.
Recently, the WannaCry virus managed to spread across 150 countries and attack a plethora of businesses, organizations, and other international targets.Do you know the story behind the WannaCry virus’ notorious end? It turns out that a young, self-trained IT expert found a “kill switch” while working from his bedroom.
Marcus Hutchins, the man behind this victory, doesn’t consider himself a hero — but the world certainly does. This young man spent three days fighting off the WannaCry virus, as it wormed its way into the UK’s hospital networks. Luckily for Marcus, the virus itself wasn’t well-constructed and, once he located its weak spot, the entire bot effectively collapsed.
The Damage Caused By the WannaCry Virus
First emerging on May 12, 2017, the WannaCry virus infected a reported 230,000 computers. WannaCry is a strand of ransomware, which means it locks a user’s access to his or her device and demands payment to unlock them. In this case, WannaCry asks for $300 to $600 in Bitcoins. By May 15, the hackers had allegedly received around $50,000 from their malware’s antics.
Despite its global reach, WannaCry’s main targets appear to have been FedEx, Deutsche Bahn, the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), and Spain’s Telefónica. WannaCry seized control of these company computers by taking advantage of a loophole in an older Windows operating system. Microsoft has since developed a patch to fix this issue.
How to Keep Your Devices Safe
- Update your version of Windows on your PC. If you haven’t updated your computer to the latest operating system, or if your computer no longer receives updates, then your computer is still vulnerable to attacks like WannaCry and other malware.
- Use a firewall and run regular virus scans. Prevention is always the best strategy. Once your computer is infected with malware, it can be expensive, frustrating, and time-consuming to remove the infection.
- Be prepared for the worst. Back up any important data on your computer by using a dropbox or cloud system. That way, if WannaCry or another virus strikes your operating system, you won’t lose any important data.
Most of all, remember that computers aren’t the only thing at risk these days. Increasingly, attacks on smartphones are increasing year by year and becoming more sophisticated. That’s when DFNDR can come in handy.