Researchers find way to unlock WannaCry without ransom

The focus is now towards battling ransomware, where hackers encrypt your files and ask you to pay them a ransom in order to have them decrypted.

Earlier this year, Microsoft announced that it will continue to support Windows 7 until 2020, however, Markus Nitschke, Head of Windows at Microsoft Germany previously warned users, particularly business owners, of the dangers of using the operating system.

In the United Kingdom, some hospitals had to turn away patients as the worm shut down computer systems. Many systems failed to upgrade from Windows XP, the version of Microsoft's OS that debuted in 2001, and this was considered one of the main reasons they were hit hard by the rasomware. Relying on old operating systems engenders a false sense of security that can leave users vulnerable to attacks.

Image: Example of WannaCry ransom note. While most of the world is talking about how their machines can be restored and safeguarded, another debate recently soared that shamed Microsoft over not rolling timely security updates for its older operating system that still power a significant number of PCs, most notably Windows XP. Costin Raiu, director of global research and analysis at Kapersky, says the.03 percent of Windows 10 computers containing the malware were infected manually by testers. Although WannaCry erases the keys from the system, thus forcing the victim to pay $300 to the cybercriminals, there's a catch. This would imply it works for every version of Windows from XP to 7, including Windows 2003 (x86 confirmed), Vista and 2008 and 2008 R2. Ransomware is usually spread through email attachments like Microsoft Word docs or PDF files, but can also be let in through a digital backdoor created by a virus already present in a system. For at least a short time, Windows keeps a copy of the two prime numbers that it provided to WannaCry in memory.

Europol said on Twitter that its European Cybercrime Centre had tested the team's new tool and said it was "found to recover data in some circumstances".

According to a report, ATMs in India have a great chance of being affected by ransomware.

Guinet, a security researcher at Paris-based Quarks Lab, published the theoretical technique for decrypting WannaCry files late Wednesday and Thursday, which Delpy, also in Paris, figured out how to turn into a practical tool to salvage files.

On the other hand, less than one in a thousand were powered by Windows XP making it nearly insignificant for the discussion. "It can work under Windows XP because, in this version, CryptReleaseContext does not do the cleanup", Guinet said in the documentation for Wannakey.

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