New 'WannaCry' variant surfaces, stopped from harming computers: Check Point

(Reuters) - A new variant of the WannaCry "ransomware" attack surfaced on Monday, according to cyber security firm Check Point Software Technologies Ltd CHKP.O, which it said it had stopped from damaging computers by activating a "kill switch" in the software.

The company discovered the new variant at about 7 a.m. New York time on Monday (1100 GMT), as it was infecting computers at a rate of about one per second, said Check Point researcher Maya Horowitz.

The firm responded by setting up a server that initiated what is called a kill switch built into the software, which prevents it from encrypting data on infected machines or spreading to other computers, she said.

Ransomware is illicit software that demands a “ransom” from an infected user to regain control of their computer.

Reporting by Jim Finkle in Toronto; Editing by Bill Rigby