Chapter 445: The aftermath of the virus, a suffering of heavy losses!
The Panda Burning Incense disaster was still spreading throughout Korea!
Seoul had fallen!
Busan had fallen!
Incheon had fallen!
Gyeongju had fallen!
No place in the country was safe. As long as it was on the Korean map, all of them had been hit hard. The incident had become so big that it was way out of control. The Korean Malware Protection Center's red alert buzzer no longer rang. This was because the thirteen computers in the Malware Protection Center's command center had all already been infected by the 71st variant of Panda Burning Incense! Faced with a national crisis, the Korean authorities were eventually helpless in the face of the virus. They requested for emergency help from the world as they urged several major powers to crack the Panda Burning Incense. They were really getting anxious!
The world wasn't at peace either.
The Panda Burning Incense virus had also paid a visit to Russia, USA, China, and several other countries as well, but as only a minority number of computers were infected, it didn't cause much panic and was resolved very quickly.
This was a war!
It was a war between the world and the Panda Burning Incense!
On the 5th day of the new year, at 4:05AM Beijing Time, the Americans finally made their move!
An American virus research company set up an action task force regarding the Panda Burning Incense virus and were the first to crack the 4th, 5th, 17th, 25th, 26th, and 78th variants of the virus. They had created six kill tools and an update to patch the system from being infected was published by an anti-virus company. The resources were shared to their Korean counterparts as well.
These six variants actually shared common code. Simply speaking, even though they used different offensive and defensive techniques, they were still similar in nature. The Americans discovered this after cracking one of the variants and followed up very quickly by using the kill tools and patches for other related variants!
The spread was finally put under some control with America's support. Although this was still far from effective, as not even 10% of the variants had been cracked, it was at least a form of encouragement and gave the Korean government and its people confidence and hope!
On the sixth day of the new year, the Koreans themselves cracked four virus variants.
Sixth day, afternoon. The Russian Malware Protection Center announced seven patches to the Panda Burning Incense virus as they carried out their 'humanitarian assistance' towards Korea.
Sixth day, evening. Japan cracked three more variants of the virus.
Sixth day, night. Japan announced that another variant had been cracked.
Seventh day, past midnight. The Americans issued over 20 patches for the Panda Burning Incense variants that had not been cracked yet.
Seventh day, morning. The world's largest operating system maker issued a system update to patch the vulnerabilities that Panda Burning Incense had used to spread. It was the most thorough patch issued so far.
Seventh day, afternoon. North Korea also announced that it had cracked 75 variants of the Panda Burning Incense virus and......and that was that. Even the countries who had the best relationship with them did not believe this.
India and the Philippines also joined in. It seemed like Korea's standing in the world wasn't too bad after all. This world's countries were largely the same as before, but the diplomatic relations had subtle differences. The world had changed, and so its history was also a little different. In this respect, diplomatic relations were also definitely affected. Some of the countries that Zhang Ye remembered having good relations seemed alright in this world. Of course, that might also just be on the surface.
The whole world was hunting down the Panda Burning Incense all at once!
Everyone believed that this virus would be completely cracked soon. Even Zhang Ye felt so too an unbreakable code didn't exist. The fact that the Panda Burning Incense had managed to spread on such a large scale had already exceeded Zhang Ye's estimates. In his previous world, the Panda Burning Incense virus did not have such capability and only affected a few million systems and only a few provinces had been affected within China. Zhang Ye thought that the reason this virus had spread so quickly and widely here was due to the spread of the variants. Back in his world, the Panda Burning Incense variants were released over a longer period of time as virus authors and hackers slowly improved the code to do specific tasks, but since Zhang Ye had all these codes available to him, he had dumped them out very quickly within several hours. This was the real reason behind the disastrous destruction of the Korean internet!
But then again, it was because of this reason that set off a panic in the world. This led to the cooperation between each country's Malware Protection Center, as well as expert hackers, in dealing with the virus. As they said, what came quickly will go quickly too. There were always pros and cons anyway. As Zhang Ye's objective had been met with the Panda Burning Incense virus achieving more than what it set out to do, it was time for it to 'retire'. Zhang Ye was overall very satisfied with his performance. At least he did not let down the original "Panda Burning Incense"!
Time passed by bit by bit.
Finally, it was already the morning of the eighth day of the new year. The Global Malware Protection Center announced that all the variants of Panda Burning Incense had already been cracked with a single kill tool created and put up for download. It was a free download for everyone to use, so that the Panda Burning Incense virus would no longer wreak havoc in this world!
This news came at the right time, but at the same time, a little too late.
The infected systems began to be restored one by one!
Countless Korean citizens cheered as they broke down in tears!
Five days! It had lasted a full five days! It had been a dark five days!
"Why did it only just arrive!"
"We've been waiting for too long now! It has finally all been cracked!"
"We've defeated the Panda!"
"That damned panda! We only scolded China a little and hacked into a few websites, but that didn't cause you any big losses. Do you all have to do this? Ah? This was so uncalled for! Aren't you pushing us to our deaths!?"
"Oh my god, I can finally come online. I've never thought that being able to connect to the internet was such an important and touching activity. Thank you to the world's computer organizations!"
"That damned panda! I don't wish to ever see a panda in my life ever again! My heart will tremble at the sight of one!"
"Don't bring up the word 'panda' anymore. I can't stand hearing that word anymore. Forget it, we have emerged victorious anyway."
The Korean government fell silent!
The Korean Malware Protection Center also fell silent!
Faced with this Panda Burning Incense virus, they never had the chance to strike back. Their losses were huge and it even caused a huge step back in their economy. If this was what they called a victory, then that must be the world's greatest joke. The other party's hacker had just thrown out a kind of virus, and had wiped out the entire nation. They had to gather the entire world's resources just to eliminate the virus. Was there any victory that cost that much?
This was no victory at all!
It was clear to anyone that this was an utter defeat!
On this day, it would go down in history as Korea's most damaging network invasion of a virus. The relevant agencies and departments all called it the "five days of darkness".
The virus was under control.
Work to clean up the mess continued.
Any virus remnants were purged and economic losses were calculated. Although a solution had been found, the damage to the economy and the shaken confidence of the Korean people had already been done. It wasn't something that could be swept under the rug in a day or two. Even now, the Korean Malware Protection Center did not lift the red alert on the Panda Burning Incense. They were afraid, afraid that new variants of the virus would appear again!
"Still can't find '2'?"
"Get him arrested quickly!"
"That '2' is too dangerous!"
"What's the government doing! Don't they even have any experts? Catch him! Investigate him! And dig him out of his hiding hole! What are they waiting for?"
"We need to have our revenge!"
"What revenge! Haven't you all learned the lesson?"
"Yea, I think it's better not to mess with that guy ever again. He's such a bastard! If we step on his tail again and he reacts by doing this again, who would be able to take it?!"
The Korean public's comments varied with all sorts of opinions!
Unknown to them, everything that they mentioned was already being undertaken by all the countries. But where did they start looking? Where could they check? They wanted to arrest '2' as well, but there was no trace of him at all! Although they knew that he was a Chinese citizen, who didn't know how many people there were in China!? With a population base so large, this lead was as good as useless!
After a few hours.
In the aftermath, as the remnants of the Panda Burning Incense was being cleared out, the Korean government could no longer hide it. They had to announce to the public about the statistics of the economic losses suffered by the country due the the Panda Burning Incense virus and its variants!
Seeing the breakdown of infected systems!
Looking at the list of economic losses!
In this second, the world felt something!
It was possible that some people had already done some estimates, but many others still did not understand how much damage was caused by this virus. They only felt that if there was a kill tool available now, everything would be fine. There was no bigger picture to them and thus, they could not appreciate the seriousness of the incident, but with the figures announced, everyone was stunned!
This...was this our losses?
How could this be possible!? Those figures are too scary!
Before of the appearance of the Panda Burning Incense, no one could imagine that a computer virus that was only a few hundred kilobytes in size could cause such great damage to a technologically advanced country!
To put it in context, a terrorist attack took place in this world sometime last year, killing many people and caused a setback to the economy as well, but with the figures presented now, the economic losses created by the Panda Burning Incense virus was significantly much larger!
Was this even just a computer virus?
This had to be a f**king nuclear weapon instead!!
A simple computer virus had actually caused so much havoc in a big country of this world. At this moment, the world had the Panda Burning Incense virus burned into their memories. The world would also remember that a dangerous person like '2' existed!