Security experts find clues to ransomware worm's lingering risks

Any organisation which heeded strongly worded warnings from Microsoft to urgently install a security patch it labelled "critical" when it was released on March 14 on all computers on their networks are immune, experts agree.

The virus targeted computers using Windows XP, as well as Windows 7 and 8, all of which Microsoft stopped servicing years ago.

A day after the WannaCry ransomware cyber attack seemed to be slowing down, media reports have suggested that IT firms in the Silicon Valley of India, Bangalore, have been put on high alert.

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.

Enable the "Show file extensions" option in the Windows settings on your computer.

Efforts by IT security researchers to get to the bottom of the recent ransomware attack have been hampered by an inability to find early traces of the so-called WannaCry strain, according to research commissioned by Reuters and conducted by security ratings firm BitSight.

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By contrast, the United States accounts for 7% of WannaCry infections while Britain, France and Germany each represent just 2% of worldwide attacks, Kryptos said. With this attack, Abrams recommends trying to recover the "shadow volume" copies some versions of Windows have.

However, the Financial Times report points out that Windows XP users are still expected to pay extra if they want security and it now stands at $1,000 per device.

On Sunday, the U.S. software giant called on intelligence services to strike a better balance between their desire to keep software flaws secret - in order to conduct espionage and cyber warfare - and sharing those flaws with technology companies to better secure the internet.

It's unclear who is behind the massive attack, but researchers have found clues in the code linking the ransomware to North Korea.

Banks whose ATMs rely on Windows XP or any other vulnerable operation systems would be expected to apply patches and protect their networks.

The serious strain of ransomware escaped last week after unsuspecting victims reportedly downloaded a compressed zip file attached to an email, releasing WannaCry onto their PC. Do this even if you use another embedded OS, such as Linux or other Unix variants, as it's safe to assume that all complex software is vulnerable to malware.

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