Windows 7 makes up two-thirds of machines infected by WannaCry

Anyway, it is the responsibility of the user to have an original operating system license and to verify that Windows is updated regularly with the latest security patches, otherwise, for as much Windows 10 as we have, most likely scenario is that we end up being another victim to a large-scale computer attack just like the one suffered a little more than a week ago.

The WannaCry outbreak started by infecting some vulnerable machines and has now infected more than 200,000 computers around the world. "WannaCry itself did not support Windows XP", Raui said, noting that the exploit neither focused on XP or reliably worked on the 2001 operating system.

Raiu thought different. "I think Microsoft was anxious about the possibility of someone leveraging this exploit", Raiu argued.

Windows 7 was first released in 2009 and the most widely infected version was the x64 edition, which is widely used in large organisations, showed figures from Kasperksy. However, a significant number of computers across governments, businesses, and hospitals were not updated and thus were severely impacted. Windows XP accounts for only 5.36% of Windows computers globally.

A SpiceWorks survey said that Windows 7 was the most popular Windows OS in terms of both market share and penetration, making it a clear victim for an attack like WannaCry. "They focused on the most-widespread platform", said Raiu. However, according to a new report, Windows XP was least affected OS by the ransomware. The WannaCry ransomware demanded a payment of about $300 or £230 in bitcoins after encrypting files.

Other factors may have played a part, however.

According to data published by Kaspersky, over 90 percent of the affected devices were running on versions of Windows 7, for which the security update was released two months prior to the attack by the company.

When it issued security fixes to Windows XP, Microsoft said that Windows 10 systems "were not targeted" by WannaCry. "The Windows XP count is insignificant".

That Windows 7 accounted for the majority of WannaCry infections is not that surprising. "The newer Windows versions, like Windows 8.1 and Windows 10, include new security mitigations, which may have made it easier for them to [write an] exploit for Windows 7", Rauf said.

Seeking to head off further criticism in the wake of the WannaCry outbreak, the U.S. software giant last weekend released a free patch for Windows XP and other older Windows versions that it previously only offered to paying customers.

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