WannaCry ransomware worm infected over 200k computers worldwide

Gladys Abbott
June 5, 2017

Computers running on Windows 7 accounted for the largest proportion of machines infected with the WannaCry ransomware, according to recent statistics by security firms. As we have mentioned many times, the patches for this vulnerability were launched last March and being an operating system that still has support, if users had installed such updates then they would not have been infected by this ransomware.

WannaCry locks the data on a computer system and leaves the user with two files: instructions on what to do and the Wanna Decryptor program.

However, those behind WannaCry have been haphazard in their bolting the ransomware onto the code, something researchers say organised, professional cybercriminal groups wouldn't do.

MalwareTech has since been identified by media outlets as Marcus Hutchins, 22.

The findings varied according to different methods employed by various security firms, but security ratings firm BitSight also found 67 percent of infections had hit Windows 7, according to Reuters. Specifically, more than 60% of victims were users of the 64-bit version of Windows 7 while about 32% were users of 32-bit version of Windows 7 operating system.

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More modern operating systems - those now being supported by Microsoft - were able to download a critical security patch released on the 14 March, immunising their computers against WannaCry.

An employee of French carmaker Renault walks into the Renault George-Besse factory of Douai on Monday, where production has been stopped since Renault was hit by the global cyberattack effecting more than 150 countries.

"The conflict of interest here would be mind-boggling: the more insecure Microsoft's software, the greater the demand for its cybersecurity services to protect it", Morozov wrote. Europol also tweeted confirming they were able to use the tool for decryption. No wonder there are people demanding that some version of the digital Geneva conventions pass: "the horrors, imposed by the tag team of government and industry, are just too painful to endure".

Adam McNeil, a senior malware analyst at Malwarebytes, said the worm was primed to look for machines vulnerable to a bug in a Microsoft technology known as the Server Message Block (SMB). Microsoft had pushed out a public patch for Windows 7 long before the attack occurred, but the patch for Windows XP was only released as an emergency measure, with the damage already inflicted.

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