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French researchers find way to save Windows files infected by WannaCry

21 Mai 2017

In one of the biggest cyber attacks in history, WannaCry infected computers running on older versions of Microsoft operating systems like XP.

In a survey for Reuters, BitSight found that 67 per cent of infected PCs it investigated were running Windows 7, despite the OS being installed on fewer than half of Windows PCs worldwide.

The researchers warned that 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.

Of course, you may be just as concerned about downloading unknown software from Github as you are about WannaCry itself.

Russia's largest bank Sberbank said late last week it had been attacked by a virus attack but that viruses had not got into its systems.

Dubbed WannaKey, the tool exploits an unpatched security hole in Windows XP - one of the operating systems most badly affected by WannaCry thanks to its relatively widespread use and long-expired support contracts - which fails to clear the private key from memory when the platform's built-in encryption tool is used.

This isn't the first ransomware attack, and it won't be the last, but the origin, scope, and some of the outcomes of the WannaCry attack make it special.

WannaCry is malware that may be based on a stolen U.S. Or disclose the flaw, letting the software company fix it and protect millions of regular computer users from malicious attacks by hackers? When do such tools enhance security, and when do they weaken it by exposing citizens, companies and national organisations to the very dangers they are supposed to protect against?

Since 2016, cyber attacks through Ransomware have grown exponentially, and now surpass all other forms of malware as the number one menace to cyber assets and the technology infrastructure.

Researchers from a variety of security firms say they have so far failed to find a way to decrypt files locked up by WannaCry and say chances are low anyone will succeed. Having a backup of your files is the only sure way to restore them.

Once ransomware has encrypted your files, there's little you can do. If you accidently send it to an address other than the ransomware perpetrator's, you will have no way to reverse or recover the bitcoin.

Because it's stealthier, it could be some time before we really hear about any serious impacts from UIWIX. The hackers are demanding Bitcoin as the payment method, which is very hard to trace, but not impossible. The leaks, and the global WannaCry ransomware attack that they led to, have renewed debate over how and when intelligence agencies should disclose vulnerabilities used in cyber spying programs so that businesses and consumers can better defend themselves.

You just won't be able to open them unless you pay the ransom. However, in a note to investors earlier this week, Credit Suisse analyst Michael Nemeroff argued in favor of buying Microsoft stock on any pullbacks associated with the WannaCry cyber-disaster.

Stilgherrian also wrote: "When you're running a hospital full of machines that go ping, you can't afford an update to kill those pings, because that in turn can kill people".

French researchers find way to save Windows files infected by WannaCry