(London Guardian) An “accidental hero” has halted the global spread of the WannaCry ransomware that has wreaked havoc on organizations including the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), FedEx and Telefonica.
Massive ransomware cyber-attack hits nearly 100 countries around the world
A cybersecurity researcher tweeting as @malwaretechblog, with the help of Darien Huss from security firm Proofpoint, found and implemented a “kill switch” in the malicious software that was based on a cyber-weapon stolen from the NSA.
The kill switch was hardcoded into the malware in case the creator wanted to stop it from spreading. This involved a very long nonsensical domain name that the malware makes a request to – just as if it was looking up any website – and if the request comes back and shows that the domain is live, the kill switch takes effect and the malware stops spreading.