Microsoft Could Have Released Free Anti-Ransomware Patch Earlier, Report Says

French researchers claim cure for Wanna Cry-infected computers

French researchers claim cure for Wanna Cry-infected computers

The WannaCry ransomware cyberattack infected more than 230,000 computers in 150 countries.

Noting that precautions play a crucial part in defending against the WannaCry virus, Kaspersky suggests users install an official patch from Microsoft that closes the vulnerability used in the attack as well as upgrade the security software scanning critical areas at all time to detect potential infection as early as possible. However, its market share is not much higher than 50%, so the fact that most victims were using this operating system, while the other 50% of users, although divided in other versions, has not been affected.

As security experts reported, WannaCry uses two NSA-hacking tools disclosed after the hacker group Shadow Brokers dumped classified documents online.

Microsoft has faced criticism since 2014 for withdrawing support for older versions of Windows software such as 16-year-old Windows XP and requiring users to pay hefty annual fees instead. Computer threats have changed and are becoming more complex.

Security experts also found that the worm spread largely by seeking out vulnerable machines on the net by itself.

More than 300,000 Windows systems were struck by WannaCry attacks, which crippled many organizations, including several hospitals in the United Kingdom.

The WannaCry, or Wanna Decryptor, ransomware works by encrypting files on computers, locking users out.

However, a bug in WannaCry code means the attackers can not use unique bitcoin addresses to track payments, security researchers at Symantec found this week.

It was also reported that WannaCry has infected more than 200,000 computers around the world and even affected some hospitals in the United Kingdom who were forced to turn away patients after the worm shut down their computer systems.

These factors help explain the mystery of why such a tiny number of victims appear to have paid ransoms into the three bitcoin accounts to which WannaCry directs victims.

Over the past week, many consumers have received emails from companies that claim that they have software that can remove the ransomware, and that it's available for free.

Many suggested that the reason United Kingdom hospitals suffered was because many of them still relied on programmes that required Windows XP - a version of Microsoft's OS that debuted in 2001.

WannaCry landed nine weeks after Microsoft's patch arrived.

"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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