Global Wannacry payout: $140,000 — a superweapon in the hands of dum-dumsOn August 3, 2017 by Kenna
The Wannacry worm burned through the world’s unpatched IT systems, hitting more than 80 countries in 24 hours, taking down hospitals, airlines, banks and logistics companies, until a hidden killswitch was able to halt its spread.
The Wannacry worm owed its virulence to its use of leaked NSA cyberweapon — a defect in Windows that the NSA discovered but kept secret so they could use it to attack their adversaries. For this to work, it meant that everyone in the world had to be kept vulnerable to exploitation of that defect, too.
We normally think of powerful weapons being wielded by “rational actors” — people who are trying to find an angle that lets them win without getting caught or harmed in the process. That’s why there’s so much fear at the thought of North Korea’s Kim family getting long-range nukes, as they are painted in the western press as unhinged dictators (the reality is that they’re ruthless and terrible war criminals, but they’re actually pretty “rational” in terms of the risks they take on).
The Wannacry worm is what happens when a superweapon gets into the hands of dum-dums — like a junkie who breaks car windows to steal change out of ashtrays getting their hands on a tactical nuke.
These supervillains stole whole hospitals, but the ransom they demanded was a mere $300. That’s why the total payout from a global worm infection that cost billions was a mere $140K, which the dum-dums in question just cashed out of their Bitcoin wallets.
In the months since the attack, the Bitcoin wallets containing the money extorted by WannaCry were left untouched, but August 3 saw them suddenly start to be emptied.
At the time of withdrawal, the value of the wallets totalled $140,000 thanks to changes in the valuation of Bitcoin.
Three separate withdrawals between 7.3 Bitcoin ($20,055) and 9.67 Bitcoin ($26,435) were made in the space of a minute at 4:10am BST, accounting for around half of the total value of the extorted funds.
Five minutes later, three more withdrawals of between 7 Bitcoin ($19.318) and 10 Bitcoin ($27,514) were made in the space of another 60 seconds. Ten minutes later, a final withdrawal was made, emptying the remaining bitcoin from the WannaCry wallets.
A dozen prisoners at Jasper, Alabama’s Walker County Jail escaped on Sunday and one is still at large. One of them used peanut butter to change the number above his cell door and then called for the guard, a new employee, to open it. The number the prisoner changed it to was actually the door […]
Chris Msando is the Kenyan electoral commission IT manager who oversaw the country’s computerized voting systems; now, just days before a hotly contested election, his body has been found in the Kikuyu area in Nairobi’s outskirts, and the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission says he was tortured and murdered.
Fort Pierce, Florida police officer Robie Troutman was sitting in his patrol car parked at the police station when he noticed someone trying to open his car doors. He spotted Aaron Orlando Rodriguez III running away. Troutman caught him hiding behind another car. According to Troutman’s police report, “Rodriguez said he saw my vehicle was […]
Web technology has matured considerably in the last decade, and developers are continually in demand. If you’re looking to add some skills to your resume, or are just interested in exploring the possibilities of the web, check out this Interactive Web Developer Bootcamp.In this course, you’ll get a comprehensive overview of full-stack development using modern […]
Even if you only use your PC for web browsing, media playback, or light document creation, default software can sometimes come up short. To give your Windows PC a bit of a boost, we’ve compiled a variety of helpful, paid apps that can enhance your user experience and make you more productive.In the Premium PC Power […]
Many people find it easiest to learn things by doing them. If you’re looking to give a doer in your life an interesting, hands-on project, check out these tech-focused DIY kits:DIY AT-AT Cable Organizer & Card Case ($32.99)With this kit, you get to put together a wooden replica of an AT-AT that keeps cables, pens, […]