Published: Sat, May 20, 2017
Hi-Tech | By Grace Becker

WannaCry virus primarily targeted Windows 7 computers

WannaCry virus primarily targeted Windows 7 computers

After thousands of computers got infected, Microsoft chose to release the patch for Windows XP systems as well, thus publishing the first update in 3 years for the operating system launched in 2001. Microsoft patched all supported versions of Windows, including Vista, 7, 8.1, and 10 as part of the March Patch Tuesday, while Windows XP remained vulnerable to attacks as it's no longer getting support.

"(The method) should work with any operating system from XP to Win7", Suiche told Reuters via direct message on Twitter.

An unknown number of computers sit behind the 300,000 infected internet connections identified by Kryptos.

Liran Eshel, chief executive of cloud storage provider CTERA Networks, said: "The attack shows how sophisticated ransomware has become, forcing even unaffected organisations to rethink strategies".

A loose-knit team of security researchers scattered across the globe said they had collaborated to develop a workaround to unlock the encryption key for files hit in the global attack, which several independent security researchers have confirmed.

Efforts by IT security researchers to get to the bottom of the recent ransomware attack have been hampered by an inability to find early traces of the so-called WannaCry strain, according to research commissioned by Reuters and conducted by security ratings firm BitSight.

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The rapid recovery by many organisations with unpatched computers caught out by the attack may largely be attributed to back-up and retrieval procedures they had in place, enabling technicians to re-image infected machines, experts said.

Windows XP was one of the versions of Windows to be affected by the WannaCry ransomware attack, and despite the patch released by Microsoft, there were still thousands of computers which ended by being affected.

How Does WannaCry Ransomware Work? "But this is so far the only workable solution to help enterprises to recover their files if they have been infected and have no back-ups" which allow users to restore data without paying black-mailers.

Once installed, WannaCry locks the files on a computer and asks its victims to pay approximately $300 by Bitcoin within a few hours.

"We haven't seen many organisations fall over and that's because they did some of the security basics", he said.

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