Frenchmen claim cure for WannaCry-infected computers

The ransomware WannaCry encrypts information on computers and asks users to pay $300 in exchange for decryption.

Researchers said their solution would only work in certain conditions, namely if computers had not been rebooted since becoming infected and if victims applied the fix before WannaCry carried out its threat to lock their files permanently.

Working independently, Adrien Guinet, Matthieu Suiche and Benjamin Delpy came up with a software patch that works on Windows XP machines, and has since been tested on many others successfully.

In mid-march, Microsoft distributed a security update after it detected the security flaw in its XP operating system that enabled the so-called WannaCry ransomware to infiltrate and freeze computers last week.

The rapid recovery by many organizations 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.

A previously overlooked limitation in XP, however, can prevent the erasure from occurring in that Windows version.

His idea involves extracting the keys to WannaCry encryption codes using prime numbers rather than attempting to break the endless string of digits behind the malicious software's full encryption key.

The WannaCry ransomware attack of Friday 12 May is now petering out, although its effects linger on in some places and fears of follow up attacks remain.

The NSA went to Microsoft after it learned a hacking group known as the Shadow Brokers had stolen the hacking tool that took advantage of the exploit out of fear the tool might be used for a large-scale attack.

Proofpoint executive Ryan Kalember said the authors may have earned over US$1 million (S$1.4 million), far more than has been generated by the WannaCry attack. This post will be updated if new newsworthy details become available.

  • Zachary Reyes