8 Ransomware Attack

Aakash was about to call one of the numbers randomly when he got another call. He picked up the call and while getting on the bus responsible for transporting the passengers from the runway to the terminal.

"Hello. Mr. Aakash?"

"Yes, it's me."

"Thank god. It's me, John. I was hoping we could reschedule our meeting and meet as soon as possible. I have already sent a car to pick you up at the airport."

"That's fine. Text me the driver's phone number."

"Sure thing."

Aakash was still a bit confused as to what the hurry was when a nearby sound caught his attention. One of the boys on the bus was using Tiktok. The more interesting thing was the content that was being played.

It was a clip of a news headline. It was a clip from CNN that had been uploaded to Tiktok.

"News has just come in that today at exactly 12:30 PM. A carefully executed mass ransomware attack has been deployed. The attack is said to have infected over 5 million devices."

"The attackers have demanded $10,000 from each and every infected user. The payment method is set to Bitcoin. This has caused bitcoin prices to soar and an increase of 2% has already been seen in bitcoin prices while the price still seems to going up."

"Cybersecurity experts are working together to try and solve this crisis."

It was a Eureka moment for Aakash.

'So that's why. But what are they worried about.'

Aakash quickly took out the laptop from his bag and started checking. His laptop obviously wasn't infected as he had already worked pretty hard to make his laptop pretty foolproof.

The bus reached the terminal and Aakash had to leave which caused him to be slightly annoyed but he didn't think much of it. He closed his laptop and got out of the bus.

The driver's number had already been sent to him. Aakash quickly made his way out while calling the number. He quickly found the location and got into the car.

Aakash didn't make much small talk and immediately got on his laptop. He wanted to find out what was it that was making the people from Microsoft so excited about this ransomware attack.

The traffic conditions in Kathmandu have always been pretty bad. This contributed in some extra time for Aakash to snoop around and see what was going on.

Before long, he did find out what was it that was making those Microsoft representatives tick so much. The majority of the devices infected in the mass ransomware attackers were windows system.

It didn't seem like that big of a thing considering that majority of computers in the world were using Windows system but in this case, it was a bit different.

In this case, one of the major reasons that this happened was that a windows bug had been leveraged by these people to swiftly access the windows systems and quickly gain access to so many devices in such a short period of time.

After all, the Bureau 121's couldn't have control over so many devices. It was a bit hard, even for them. More so, the ransomware attack was still in the process of infecting more devices and 99% of these new devices were Windows system.

This was a lot of negative PR for Microsoft. Aakash suddenly thought of something and looked at the driver while saying, "If you see a computer store nearby, stop. I need to buy some things."

"Okay, babu."(babu is pretty similar to saying kid.)

Aakash didn't waste much time and started analyzing the bug that had led to this current situation. If a corresponding patch was released, the ransomware attack would no longer be able to affect new computers.

This was what Aakash was upto. He snooped around for a bit and analyzed the ransomware attack virus. He quickly found the bug responsible for this widespread attack. It was fairly easy and quick for him to do this as he already had the virus sample to assess what was going on.

Aakash quickly wrote a patch for this bug and stored it before going forward and started to write a piece of software that would unlock the computers encrypted due to the ransomware attack.

Aakash was only halfway through writing the code when the car slowly stopped. Aakash looked up when he saw that the driver had turned to him and said, "There's a computer store across the road."

Aakash quickly nodded and proceeded to get off the car while leaving a sentence, "Wait for me. I'll be back in a bit."

Aakash quickly crossed the road. It was just a small small computer repair shop but all Aakash wanted to do was buy some USB drives, so it was enough.

"Dai(elder brother), do you have pendrives?"

"Yes, we have them. Which one do you want? 8GB ones or bigger ones?"

"Just the 8GB ones will do."

The middle aged guy at the shop quickly took out a hitech USB drive from a corner and checked it by plugging it into his computer before putting it on the counter.

"5 dollars."(Author's note:- I'm going to just use the prices in US dollars so that it's convenient for everyone.)

"I want three.", Aakash knew that this price was a bit more expensive than the normal rate but he didn't lack this little money. So, he didn't haggle with the shopkeeper.

The shopkeeper grabbed two more pendrives when Aakash took out his mobile phone. He had mobile data so he just used that and quickly scanned the QR code on display and transferred $15 using Esewa.(Author's note:- Esewa is like the most famous online payment platform in Nepal.)

Aakash collected the three pendrives and quickly went back and got into the car. There was no extra sequence here. As the car made it's way towards Soaltee Hotel in Tahachal where the representatives from Microsoft were currently residing.

By the Aakash reached the hotel, Aakash had already finished writing all the code. All one had to do was download the program and transfer it to a USB drive and connect that USB drive to the infected computer.

The program would automatically run decrypt the data in the infected computer and completely remove the virus. The three USB drives that Aakash had bought had been loaded with program to save infected computers from the virus, patch for the bug that was leveraged in this attack and finally, the promised patches for the bugs that Aakash had found priorly.

Now the main thing that Aakash was worried about was what would the new deal look like. More importantly, how much wool should he scrape off of this fat sheep named Microsoft.

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