Decryption Tools Help Turn Tide Against WannaCry

Once installed onto a vulnerable computer, the malware not only encrypts computer files but also operates like a worm to scan the victim's network for other vulnerable machines. The virus displays a message asking for $300 ransom in bitcoins to unlock the system.Kaspersky has listed Vietnam among the top 20 countries most affected by this ransomware; the other countries and territories include Russia, Ukraine, India, Taiwan, and mainland China.

Windows 10 is the only operating system completely safe from the WannaCry ransomware, according to Microsoft.

Several organizations appear to have been caught because they failed to apply a patch that was issued by Microsoft in March. For that reason, the technique isn't likely to help many people.

For instance, if one of those few XP machines is operating a vital service on Britain's NHS system, that arguably has far greater implications than 100 Windows 7 users losing family photos.

The WannaCry outbreak started by infecting some vulnerable machines and has now infected more than 200,000 computers around the world.

But with the first batch of victims set to come up on their one-week deadline on Friday, a trio of French researchers say they have uncovered a cure for the infection, with the proviso that the fix will only work if the computer hasn't been turned off and restarted since being infected.

Beau Woods, deputy director of the Cyber Statecraft Initiative at the Atlantic Council, said that the Korean used in some versions of the WannaCry ransom note was not that of a native speaker, making a Lazarus connection unlikely.

A week after the lethal ransomware WannaCry struck thousands of computers across the globe, researchers have combined their efforts to produce a decryption tool, which Europol has confirmed worked as a successful decryptor in many cases. Countless news stories blamed Windows XP, which Microsoft retired three years ago, for falling victim to the attack because the vulnerability that WannaCry exploited had not been patched in the obsolete OS.

Many suggested that the reason United Kingdom hospitals suffered was because many of them still relied on programmes that required Windows XP - a version of Microsoft's OS that debuted in 2001.

The Verizon 2017 Data Breach Investigations Report, the most comprehensive annual survey of security breakdowns, found that it takes three months before at least half of organisations install major new software security patches. Microsoft did not confirm to AFP when it made the patch free.

How can you tell if a computer is infected?

"The same things are causing the same problems". Those who delay updates risk infection, but many put off updates for fear of breaking essential systems used or controlled by the PCs that need updating.

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