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WannaCry Can Be Defeated With WannaKey Software Without Ransom Paying

23 May 2017

To infect all these computers, the WannaCry ransomware used an SMB worm that spread on its own to new computers that ran vulnerable SMB services.

Further, the same security company also mentioned in one of their blogs that most of the common symptoms of this virus and attack are the absence of access to the shared resources of Windows. Expecting Microsoft to support a 16-year old product is unreasonable when you consider the expense, both in time and money, that goes into writing code for various operating systems.

A group of security researchers have created a tool that can help users hit by the massive WannaCry ransomware attack decrypt their files without paying the ransom or wiping their device.

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

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According to CloudVolumes and Comae founder Matt Suiche, the wanawiki tool finds the prime numbers the ransomware uses to come up with a key that will encrypt the PC. The tool succeeds because WannaCry uses the Windows Crypto API in a way that results in the prime numbers used to compute the private key not being removed from memory. 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.

Explaining further in details on GitHub he adds, "The main issue is that the CryptDestroyKey and CryptReleaseContext does not erase the prime numbers from memory before freeing the associated memory".

Guinet, a security researcher at Paris-based Quarks Lab, published the theoretical technique for decrypting WannaCry files late Wednesday and Thursday, which Delpy, also in Paris, figured out how to turn into a practical tool to salvage files.

As the WannaCry ransomware continues to spread - albeit more slowly now - across the internet, security researchers are discovering more about the malware's impact.

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However, if you've been infected by WannaCry and you haven't rebooted your computer in an attempt to get rid of it, you can give Wanakiwi a try.

You can download WanaKiwi here. Europol tweeted that its European Cybercrime Centre had checked the team's new tool and found that it can recover files in certain circumstances.

While most computers that were affected were Windows 7, Windows XP and Windows 10 users were relevantly safer by the attack.

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WannaCry Can Be Defeated With WannaKey Software Without Ransom Paying