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May 14, 2017

How a 22-year-old inadvertently stopped a worldwide cyberattack

By molly cruz

The massive ransomware attack that crippled more than 20% of hospitals in the United Kingdom and disabled systems in as many as 74 countries appears to have been inadvertently stopped by a 22-year-old computer security researcher in England who began studying it Friday afternoon.The malware contained computer code that pinged an unregistered Web address, and if it didn't get back a message saying the address didn't exist, it would turn itself of ...

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The massive ransomware attack that crippled more than 20% of hospitals in the United Kingdom and disabled systems in as many as 74 countries appears to have been inadvertently stopped by a 22-year-old computer security researcher in England who began studying it Friday afternoon.

The malware contained computer code that pinged an unregistered Web address, and if it didn't get back a message saying the address didn't exist, it would turn itself off. Computers that were already infected with the ransomware weren't protected but the ransomware stopped spreading except in isolated systems, said Williams.



Submitters Bio:
Born in Long Island public school year in Sweden as exchange student, went to Harvard one year, Cooper Union in NYC as Art student. Have two children, one of whom is rock mogul, the other has three daughters, one of whom has two daughters, making me a great grandmother at 68, very proud. For twenty years I operated a private primary school, Orchard School, in Santa Cruz CA. Still going strong but I'm retired and write much of the time. Strong believer in the space program and our subconscious quest as a species to prevent celestial onslaughts of one kind and another, for which it is my conviction that we have developed nuclear power, though we've had to use false wars to do so; in the end I believe we'll redeem ourselves in this way, which is why I find the abandonment of the shuttle program so sad. The Russians will do the honors with the next menace from Heaven, or have said that they will. In any case, nothing matters much if we don't, not the debt ceiling, pollution, nothing. All moot.

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