China: Around The Nation

Inventive ‘little brat’ mounts home-made WannaCry attack to fund budding romance in China

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 18 May, 2017, 1:33pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 18 May, 2017, 1:33pm

The worldwide WannaCry cyberattacks inspired a boy in eastern China to concoct his own home-made extortion scheme – against his father.

The father arrived home to find the power cut and a demand for money on a piece of paper taped to the door of the flat in Changzhou, Jiangsu province, on Tuesday, Changzhou Daily reported.

The notice threatened permanent loss of electricity to the home if the father did not transfer funds in Bitcoin to an account.

Worst of WannaCry may be over but the ‘cyberattack game has changed’

“Your electricity meter and network have been hacked by a virus, cutting the power,” the message read. “Without my help, the electricity will continue to stay off!”

The notice included a QR code for online payments, and said the amount would increase over time if the father failed to hand over the money.

The father called some electricians who soon worked out that the home’s circuit breaker had been switched off. One of the electricians scanned the QR code on the message and discovered it was linked to an account for the son.

“That little brat! Tried to trick his own father for money!” the father was quoted as saying.

The father said his son had been pestering him for more pocket money but he had refused to increase the amount because he thought the son had a girlfriend.

Why China’s universities are so vulnerable to WannaCry global cyberattack

Since they began on Friday, WannaCry attacks have been reported in more than 150 countries, affecting over 230,000 computers.

In China, universities were particularly hard hit, spreading to roughly 4,300 educational institutions, according to internet security services company Qihoo 360. However, government officials have disputed the total.