Published: Sat, May 20, 2017
Money | By Armando Alvarado

French researchers claim cure for WannaCry-infected computers

Microsoft could have slowed the devastating spread of ransomware WannaCry to businesses, reports the Financial Times.

Microsoft did not confirm to AFP when it made the patch free.

Those hit by WannaCry also failed to heed warnings previous year from Microsoft to disable a file sharing feature in Windows known as SMB, which a covert hacker group calling itself Shadow Brokers had claimed was used by NSA intelligence operatives to sneak into Windows PCs. However, the patch was only released to the newer version, Windows 10, while users of older versions, like Windows XP, were left pay large fees for so-called "custom" support.

"What really makes the magnitude of this attack so much greater than any other is that the intent has changed from information stealing to business disruption", said Samil Neino, 32, chief executive of Los Angeles-based Kryptos Logic.

Russia's relationship to cyber crime is under intense scrutiny after USA intelligence officials alleged that Russian hackers had tried to help Republican Donald Trump win the US presidency by hacking Democratic Party servers.

The Wannacry cyber attack compromised Russian banks' systems in some isolated cases, the Russian central bank said on Friday, in the first official acknowledgement by Moscow that the attack had an impact on the banking system.

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A 15-year-old boy died in hospital, a day after he was shot during the spate of looting in San Cristobal. Critics of Maduro say it is an excuse for him to consolidate power and muzzle the opposition.

The researchers said the tools are not flawless and only work if the infected computers have not been rebooted after being hit by the programme.

The even more important lesson here is that years, even decades of warnings from security experts simply aren't getting through to the public. Security experts agree that the best protection is to be on a modern, up-to-date system that incorporates the latest defense-in-depth innovations.

An online learning company is offering a free course to teach people about the WannaCry computer virus used in this month's worldwide campaign that resulted in more than 200,000 ransomware attacks in 150 countries.

WannaCry landed nine weeks after Microsoft's patch arrived. "That's what the data shows", MWR research head Pratley said.

Chris Wysopal, chief technology officer with software security company Veracode, said that after ransomware attacks, researchers will often infect one of their own machines on objective to see if the key is somehow left in the memory.

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