After hackers used NSA tools to create a ransomware virus targeting Windows XP, a 22-year-old stumbled upon a stop gap by simply registering a domain. Thus, the kill switch was triggered. It reminded me of Matthew Broderick coaching the super computer to play tic-tac-toe in the movie War Games. Ivory Soap came to mind too, but the website Snopes had to ruin the illusion for me. I had always thought an accident created the famous brand. Alas, that wasn’t true.
This is an amazing story and speaks to the power of the internet. Microsoft, a large government entity, or a trove of security companies didn’t stumble upon the fix. MaltwareTech (Twitter handle), a self-taught expert, did. Yes, the open flow of ideas is important. Tech talent is everywhere.
And don’t forget … Upgrade. Upgrade. Upgrade. Windows XP launched in 2001 and was supported for fifteen plus years. Yes, it’s challenging for certain industries to make the change, specifically healthcare, but I think it’s time to take a hard look at certain applications. There are opportunities in hard choices.