Meet Marcus Hutchins, the researcher who stopped WannaCrypt Ransomware first wave
WannaCry or WannaCrypt is the latest Ransomware that is taking the entire world hostage. The WannaCrypt Ransomware encrypts the user data and then asks for a payment for decryption. The mode of payment is Bitcoin and the attackers went on to ask $300 in Bitcoin for the decryption key.
However, on a bright side, we have Marcus Hutchins, the 22-year old cybersecurity researcher who helped stop the WannaCry ransomware attack. Marcus who failed his IT GCSE exam, works for Los Angeles-based Kryptos Logic firm. He apparently lives in a seaside resort on the north devon coast and usually works as a freelancer. The British researcher who goes with the Twitter handle MalwareTech has been branded an “accidental hero” after he registered a domain name which was found in the malware’s code and thus accidentally stopped the WannaCry Ransomware outbreak. In his blog titled “How to Accidentally Stop a Global Cyber Attacks” Hutchins wrote, “I was quickly able to get a sample of the malware with the help of
In his blog titled “How to Accidentally Stop a Global Cyber Attacks” Hutchins wrote, “I was quickly able to get a sample of the malware with the help of Kafeine, a good friend, and fellow researcher.” He further added, “Upon running the sample in my analysis environment I instantly noticed it queried an unregistered domain, which I promptly registered.”
While initially, Hutchins thought that by following the standard procedure he had encrypted all the files by registering the domain only to find out later that registering the domain had stopped the Ransomware.
“We prevented the spread of the ransomware and prevented it ransoming any new computer since the registration of the domain (I initially kept quiet about this while I reverse engineered the code myself to triple check this was the case, but by now Darien’s tweet had gotten a lot of traction).”
The Cyberattack had already created a mayhem when it affected the NHS staff member and has affected system across 150 countries. The next wave of the Ransomware is expected to hit anytime now.
A BBC analysis has pegged the total payouts at £22,082 in bitcoins and the total loot is only expected to increase after the second wave of attack. As a precautionary measure, it’s advised to backup the data regularly and save on cloud and also an encrypted drive.