Frenchman claims cure for WannaCry-infected computers

Adrien Guinet has found a tool named WannaKey, which is capable of making use of weaknesses of Windows XP to decode the encrypted files on an affected computer. he claimed that he was able to successfully restore files but the solution can not be generalized for all computer systems.

French researchers released WanaKiwi, a possible solution for WannaCry victims.

He also found that it does not erase the prime numbers from memory before freeing the associated memory, and hence he was able to create a WannaCry ransomware decryption tool, named WannaKey, which basically tries to retrieve the two prime numbers used in the formula to generate encryption keys. Wannakey works on computers running Microsoft's Windows XP operating system, and can only successfully retrieve the key needed for decryption if the machine has not been rebooted since the time of the infection. 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 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.

WannCry uses the Microsoft Cryptographic Application Program Interface to handle numerous functions, including generating a key for encrypting and decrypting the files. It does so by searching for them in the wcry.exe process.

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"His tool is very ingenious as it does not look for the actual key but the prime numbers in memory to recompute the key itself", noted French malware researcher Matt Suiche, who runs the information-security Comae in Dubai, in a blog post.

The recovery technique doesn't work in Windows 10 because it does erase that memory, while Windows XP does not.

Wanakiwi was quickly tested and shown to work on Windows 7 and older Windows versions XP and 2003, Suiche said, adding that he believed the hastily developed fix also works with Windows 2008 and Vista, meaning the entire universe of affected PCs.

Delpy calls his free tool for decrypting infected computers without paying ransom "wanakiwi". The ransomware part of WannaCry does work on Windows XP, if gets on to the machine some other way, and on all other versions of Windows. Once recovered, these prime numbers can be used to restore the files encrypted by the ransomware on infected computers.

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