WannaPayment: Bitcoin accounts from WannaCry attack emptied
- Three accounts associated with May's WannaCry ransomware attack were emptied last week, clearing out $140,00 worth of bitcoin, CNN reports.
- It is unknown who cleared the accounts. Even though Bitcoin transactions and accounts are public, ownership remains anonymous, according to the report.
- The bitcoin funds were moved to nine other bitcoin accounts. With law enforcement around the world trying to track the WannaCry hackers, it will likely prove difficult for those responsible to cash out the accounts, according to the report.
May's WannaCry attack hit more than 200,000 targets around the world, causing widespread disruption and leaving many firms' IT devastated. The ransomware spread like wildfire just under three months ago, but last week was the first time movement was made on the accounts.
Many have questioned the motives for WannaCry, especially since attackers charged relatively little for impacted organizations to regain access to their computers. And the quick activation of a kill switch halted the malware from spreading further. Either way, the accounts were emptied and the attackers are still unknown, though some experts have blamed a group associated with North Korea.
But the WannaCry case saw further development last week. One of the hero's of the day, Marcus Hutchins, who was found WannaCry's kill switch, was arrested by the FBI Wednesday after leaving Def Con. Allegedly, Hutchins helped create and spread Kronos, a banking trojan, between July 2014 and July 2015. Though the charges are unrelated to the WannaCry attack, Hutchins potential unveiling as a black hat rather than a white hat security researcher could impact the reputation of the security.
Much of what happens in cybersecurity happens behind the scenes, particularly in the black hat underworld. Fresh cyberattacks can spring up overnight, leading security experts scrambling to respond. Without explicit knowledge of attack motivation, cybersecurity professionals have to defend where they can and shore up defenses in vunerable areas if possible.
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