IN MID-APRIL, an arsenal of powerful software tools apparently designed by the NSA to infect and control Windows computers was leaked by an entity known only as the “Shadow Brokers.” Not even a whole month later, the hypothetical threat that criminals would use the tools against the general public has become real, and tens of thousands of computers worldwide are now crippled by an unknown party demanding ransom.
For a real-time active attack mapper, Click here.(very cool graphic interface)
It turns out the malware was stopped by accident.
“I was out having lunch with a friend and got back about 3pm and saw an influx of news articles about the NHS and various UK organisations being hit,” he told the Guardian. “I had a bit of a look into that and then I found a sample of the malware behind it, and saw that it was connecting out to a specific domain, which was not registered. So I picked it up not knowing what it did at the time.”
The kill switch was hardcoded into the malware in case the creator wanted to stop it 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. The domain cost $10.69 and was immediately registering thousands of connections every second.
MalwareTech explained that he bought the domain because his company tracks botnets, and by registering these domains they can get an insight into how the botnet is spreading. “The intent was to just monitor the spread and see if we could do anything about it later on. But we actually stopped the spread just by registering the domain,” he said. But the following hours were an “emotional rollercoaster”.
“Initially someone had reported the wrong way round that we had caused the infection by registering the domain, so I had a mini freakout until I realised it was actually the other way around and we had stopped it,” he said.
MalwareTech said he preferred to stay anonymous “because it just doesn’t make sense to give out my personal information, obviously we’re working against bad guys and they’re not going to be happy about this.”
People are scared of nuclear war, terrorism, and all manner of bogeyman, but I tell you tis – our civilization will be undone by technology. You read that right. I’m saying that the very technology which enables our life of ease, will be our undoing, and it will most-likely be facilitated by some bullshit gov’t code that was leaked into the wild.
The terrifyingly awesome things our government is capable of doing, can also be done by 12 year olds … in their Mom’s basement.
As an aside,”Why is the NSA ransoming computers?”…