By Ian Johnston
A 22-year-old cybersecurity analyst accidentally shut down vast numbers of attacks by the devastating WannaCry ransomware by buying a domain name hidden in the program for about £8.29.
The domain name is believed to have been written into the software by the hackers to act as a kill switch.
Each time the program tried to infect a computer, it would try to contact the webpage. If it failed, WannaCry would carry on with the attack, but if it succeeded it would stop.
The analyst, who tweets as MalwareTech and works for Kryptos Logic, a security firm, admitted he had not realised that buying the domain name, for just $10.69, would have this fortunate effect.
WannaCry has infected tens of thousands of computers across the world, shutting down vital systems used by the NHS in Britain.
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Source: The Independent