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Cyber Attacks: Criminals could use attacks to disable key buildings, experts warn

22 May 2017

Another French researcher Benajmin Delpy later updated Guinet's tool with Wanakiwi so the fix could support Windows 7 as well. 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.

These vulnerabilities have since led to ransomware attacks on businesses around the world, including some in Australia, and most worryingly, hospitals as part of the UK's NHS - reportedly leading to serious problems delivering services to patients.

Florida Cybersecurity Center director Sri Sridharan says the growth of the digital currency known as bitcoin makes it easier for criminals to hold information for ransom, as they did in the WannaCry attack that started Friday.

You might expect Windows XP to be next in the list, but no. 2008 R2 Server clients claim that spot with just over 1 percent.

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If you are a part of the almost 50 percent of PC owners still using Windows 7, now would be a great time to update to Windows 10. The WannaKey decryption tool is available for free and works on Windows XP operating system.

Guinet also said the software may not work on machines running on Windows 10 as the prime numbers are deleted there.

For first victims of attack, the one week's notice ended on Friday.

The research was carried out in the aftermath of the Wanna Cry cyber attack, which infected more than 300,000 computers in 150 countries and forced the closure of auto manufacturing plants and hospitals.

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The Windows 7 majority is unsurprising, given the operating system's ubiquity.

Typically, for a computer to be infected with ransomware, the user must click on a malicious link. However, as Windows 10 is not vulnerable to the ransomware, it is not above anybody's head why Windows 7 users have become the target of the attacks.

According to a Reuters report, a team of security experts has developed and released a new tool which should alleviate the damage caused by last week's attack.

Guinet, a security researcher at Paris-based Quarks Lab, published the basic technique for decrypting WannaCry files on Thursday, which Delpy then figured out how to turn into a practical tool to salvage files.

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