Amidst global ransomware attack, new versions of WannaCry emerge

By Muneeb Ahmad on
May 15, 2017
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As the original wave of WannaCry cyber attack continues wrecking havoc, a new wave of WannaCry global cyber attack has already started to spread across the globe.

The Cyber Security experts have put that numerous hackers have started to build new versions of the original cyber virus. Although it is still unclear if the new wave would have such a worst impact, considering the havoc created by the first wave, experts have already issued the warnings.

A number of variants were spotted by different cyber security researchers. Matthieu Suiche, a security researcher, was able to find two new variants of WannaCry. Another security researcher, Benkow was also able to find a new variant. The new variants appeared with different versions and different researchers have tried to minimize their effects wherever possible.

“Several new variants have emerged during Sunday and last night, of which only one appears to have gone some very limited traction. The other variants appear to have been manually patched by unknown entities and have not been created by the original WannaCry authors”, David Emm, the Principal Security Researcher at Kaspersky Lab told The Sun.

As of now, as much as 200,000 users from more than 150 countries have come under the cyber attack which started spreading across the globe over the weekend. Bloomberg says that the hackers have made as much as $50,000 from the ransomware. The hack attack went global quickly by exploiting the hacking tools engineered by the US spy agency, NSA. Hackers made use of a vulnerability that existed in Microsoft Windows. As Microsoft has already patched the issue, users are advised to update their systems to remain safe.

The first wave which started spreading this Friday was put to halt by a British Cyber Security researcher who found a kills-witch within the code. He slowed down the spread by registering a domain name which he found in the code. The domain then acted as a sinkhole which lessened the virus outbreak through networking modes at least.

Image — The Washington Post, Source — ZDNet

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