French researchers claim cure for WannaCry-infected computers

The attack had infected close to 30,000 Chinese organizations by Saturday evening, Chinese security software maker Qihoo said.

Microsoft, which no longer supports those versions of Windows, says that the vulnerability does not affect anyone using Windows 7 or any more recent version of the operating system.

Chris Wysopal, chief technology officer with software security company Veracode, said that after ransomware attacks, researchers will often infect one of their own machines on objective to see if the key is somehow left in the memory.

According to the FT, the cost of updating older Windows versions "went from US$200 per device in 2014, when regular support for XP ended, to US$400 the following year", while some clients were asked to pay heftier fees.

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.

Likewise, Bossert emphasized that the only computers that can be compromised by WannaCry are those that do not have the latest security patches available from Microsoft.

WannaCry appears to target mainly enterprises rather than consumers: Once it infects one machine, it silently proliferates across internal networks which can connect hundreds or thousands of machines in large firms, unlike individual consumers at home. WannaCry encrypts victims' computer files and displays a message demanding ransoms to be paid in the digital currency Bitcoin before people can get their files back.

The Verizon 2017 Data Breach Investigations Report, the most comprehensive annual survey of security breakdowns, found that it takes three months before at least half of organisations install major new software security patches.

"The same things are causing the same problems".

  • Arturo Norris