West Michigan Man Helps Thwart Worldwide Computer Virus, Warns Of More To Come
Darrien Huss of Fremont aided a British computer expert in thwarting the worldwide virus called ‘WannaCry’ which shut down critical operations computers across the globe Friday, but he says there’s no day off when it comes to battling hackers.
It was a peaceful spring day in Fremont Friday, when the world’s computers came crashing down. Computers in hospitals in England, schools in China, and train stations across Germany were victimized by the hack. The hackers demanded a ransom to be paid to them in Bitcoins to get the units working again.
According to Arkansas Online, Darrien Huss, who works for the cybersecurity firm Proofpoint, immediately began analyzing the lines of code left by the hackers, and discovered they had left a ‘kill switch’ in the code, which was tied to a web site address. He immediately shared that line of code on Twitter.
Although Proofpoint is based in California, Huss works out of his Newaygo County home near Fremont to be with his wife.
A 22 year old British man, Marcus Hutchins, who was also digging into the code, read Huss’ info, and registered the domain for the web site, which effectively killed the virus by directing into his company’s computers.
Neither programmer is backing off of their vigilance. Both of them indicate the hackers will be back with another virus. Especially one that exploits a hole in any non-updated Microsoft Operating Systems that was revealed last week in hacked National Security Administration documents.
“One thing that is very important to note is our sinkholing only stops this sample and there is nothing stopping them removing the domain check and trying again, so it’s incredibly important that any unpatched systems are patched as quickly as possible,” Hutchins told ABC News.
Huss, meanwhile refuses to be considered a hero, “Personally, I really feel like I didn’t play a huge role in everything — all I really did was figure out that there was a kill switch feature,” Huss told WOOD-TV 8. “It just goes to show how interconnected our world is and how something so simple can have a devastating impact on everybody.”
It wouldn’t surprise him if another attack was on the horizon. Huss added to WOOD-TV, “We may possibly see copycats use the same exploit and deliver different payload.”