The Brilliance That Saved the Web from WannaCry to Removing Ignorance From Those That Build It

The Brilliance That Saved the Web from WannaCry to Removing Ignorance From Those That Build It

WannaCry No More

The WannaCry scam is a virus that infiltrates your computer and locks you out of it, providing a code which you must quote when making a ransom payment in bitcoin for the safe return of your system. The virus is implanted using code that originated as a ‘cyber weapon’ of the NSA, called Eternal Blue, which was developed to provide unprecedented levels of access to computers using the Microsoft Windows operating system (for the purpose of accessing terrorist and enemy state machines).

Eternal Blue was not intended for ransomware purposes but nonetheless proved incredibly effective – infecting in excess of 300,000 computers in 150 countries, the worst hit were Russia, Taiwan, Ukraine and India (according to Avast – a Czech security firm).

wannacry-map

Aside from hitting individual users, the virus managed to infiltrate the likes of the NHS, Fedex and Deutsche Bahn (Germany’s main train operator).

wannacry-deutsche-bahn

The user is required to pay $300 in bitcoin in order to unlock their system and prevent all their files being deleted. If all 300,000 machines had their ransoms paid, that would mean the organisation behind the attack stood to make $90 million.   

wannacry-virus

Fortunately, Marcus Hutchins has temporarily saved the day. The WannaCry virus was dependant upon an unregistered domain, which Marcus registered and temporarily put the brakes on the spread of the virus. However, as Marcus stated clearly, “It’s very important everyone understands that all they need to do is change some code and start again. Patch your systems now!”

Anyone who doesn’t undertake a Microsoft update now, and patches the Eternal Blue/ WannaCry vulnerability only has themselves to blame. As for the hero of the story? Just Eat gave him a year’s worth of free pizza and Hacker One, a major bug-bounty service, said they’d give him $10,000 for his effort. Marcus has continued to be a nice guy and stated he will donate all of the money to charity and buying infosec books for poor students.

Stack Overflow Spills Into the App Store

The developer community is unique in many ways, by no means least because of how collaborative the industry is, Open Source projects being the prime example of a community that contributes selflessly.  

slack-mobile-1 slack-mobile-2

So for anyone, be they a junior coder or a master of the developer arts, the main port of call is Stack Overflow. Essentially, think of it as a Reddit for coders, people put posts (or in this case questions) to the community and others contribute their skills and time to help solve the problems. It is an invaluable resource and everyone is the better for it.

Therefore, it seems long over due that the highly used website has finally gotten an app, for iOS, the Android app is still in Beta.

The app provides all the same functionality as users expect from the website version. This has potential to make the community thrive even more than it did before as the more expert users who provide answers, will be able to do so that much easier from their phones.

Stephen Collins