This Free Tool Helps Recover Windows XP PC Hit by WannaCry Ransomware

"Finding a machine with DoublePulsar running indicates that the same vulnerability used in the WannaCry malware was used to compromise Windows machines much earlier", said Williams.

Ransomware actually locks down files on an infected computer and asks the computer's administrator to pay in bit coins in order to regain control of them.

How Does WannaCry Ransomware Work?

WannCry uses the Microsoft Cryptographic Application Program Interface to handle numerous functions, including generating a key for encrypting and decrypting the files.

"Some organisations just aren't aware of the risks; some don't want to risk interrupting important business processes; sometimes they are short-staffed", said Ziv Mador, vice president of security research at Israel's SpiderLabs Trustwave. That happened here with some systems of Windows.

Windows 10, the latest version of Microsoft's flagship operating system franchise, accounts for another 15 percent, while older versions of Windows including 8.1, 8, XP and Vista, account for the remainder, BitSight estimated.

Those hit by WannaCry also failed to heed warnings previous year from Microsoft to disable a file sharing feature in Windows known as SMB, which a covert hacker group calling itself Shadow Brokers had claimed was used by NSA intelligence operatives to sneak into Windows PCs.

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The recovery rate from this software at this point looks limited as only XP users can try it out leaving Windows 2003 and server users out of its loop.

"There are plenty of reasons people wait to patch, and none of them are good", Ziv Mador, a security researcher at Trustwave's Israeli SpiderLabs and a former Microsoft researcher, told Reuters.

In regions like Russian Federation or China, the threat of WannaCry still exists and is quite potent, one might add. Security teams that are working in finding the people responsible say that their best chance of eradicating this threat is by finding patient zero in this situation.

Suiche, based in Dubai and one of the world's top independent security researchers, provided advice and testing to ensure the fix worked across all various versions of Windows.

It's easy to blame Microsoft, saying it should do more to protect the millions of computers powered by its software. "Nevertheless, one should never pay the ransom as it will encourage attackers", said Kiran Deshpande, Co-founder and President of Mojo Networks.

Friday's attack was unprecedented in its reach with more than 200,000 victims in at least 150 countries but warns of a more escalating threat as the number of victims will grow when people go to work and turn their machines on Monday morning, CNN quoted Rob Wainwright, the head of the European Union's law enforcement agency Europol as saying.

The vulnerability has been known since February, when Microsoft cancelled its monthly Patch Tuesday deployment to address the problem.

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