The WANNACRY RANSOMWARE ATTACK has quickly become the worst digital disaster to strike the internet in years, crippling transportation and hospitals globally. But it increasingly appears that this is not the work of hacker masterminds. Instead, cybersecurity investigators see in the recent meltdown a sloppy cybercriminal scheme, one that reveals amateur mistakes at practically every turn.
As the unprecedented unfolds, the cybersecurity community has marveled at the inexplicable errors the malware’s authors have made. Despite the giant footprint of the attack, which leveraged a leaked NSA-created Windows hacking technique to infect more than 200,000 systems across 150 countries, malware analysts say poor choices on the part of WannaCry’s creators have limited both its scope and profit.
Those errors include building in a web-based “kill-switch” that cut short its spread, unsavvy handling of bitcoin payments and a shoddy ransom function.