Ransomware attack could be repeated as early as Monday, MalwareTech says

UK security researcher "MalwareTech", who helped bring an end to the ransomware attack, urged computer users to install security patches, telling the UK press that another attack was "quite likely on Monday"

Staff Reporter
14 May 2017, 11:34am
Ransomware typically encrypts user files on infected systems and demands payment of a ransom for their release
Ransomware typically encrypts user files on infected systems and demands payment of a ransom for their release
Monday could see a repeat of a global ransomware attack that infected more than 125,000 computer systems last Friday, according to the man who stopped it

UK security researcher "MalwareTech", who helped bring an end to the ransomware attack, told the UK press that another attack was "quite likely on Monday".

The WannaCry virus - also known as WannaCrypt, WanaCrypt0r 2.0 and Wanna Decryptor- which takes control of users' files and demands the payment of a $300 ransom to restore access, had spread to 100 countries, including Spain, France and Russia last week, wreaking havoc on the UK's National Health Service and forcing some hospitals to cancel procedures and divert ambulances to places that had not been affected by the cyber attack.

A message from the ransomware as seen on German airport electronic noticeboard (source: Twitter)
A message from the ransomware as seen on German airport electronic noticeboard (source: Twitter)
MalwareTech, who wants to remain anonymous, was hailed as an "accidental hero" after registering a domain name to track the spread of the virus, and actually ended up stopping it by finding a hidden "kill switch" in the virus' code.

The 22-year-old computer expert told the British press: "It's very important that people patch their systems now. We have stopped this one, but there will be another one coming and it will not be stoppable by us." He warned that hackers would have upgraded the virus to remove the "kill switch" that had helped to stop its spread.

"There's a lot of money in this. There's no reason for them to stop. It's not really much effort for them to change the code and then start over...So there's a good chance they are going to do it... maybe not this weekend, but quite likely on Monday morning."