Kaspersky report says Windows 7 was most affected OS due to WannaCry

Elizabeth Williams
May 25, 2017

The installation of the official Microsoft patch and security software updates can protect computers from attacks of the WannaCry ransomware, Russian security software company Kaspersky Lab has said.

Computers with Microsoft (MSFT) operating systems that had not been updated with a particular patch were more prone to the ransomware attack, which encrypted most of the files on infected computers.

To make matters worse, Windows 7 still runs on around 45% of all machines making it a hugely popular operating system.

As the WannaCry ransomware campaign stretches on into its second week, researchers have had more and more success developing tools to help users decrypt the files on infected PCs. The exploit leverages a now-patched security vulnerability in the Windows Server Message Block (SMB) protocol, scanning 445 file sharing ports from Windows endpoints for access to the Internet and enabling the download and execution of ransomware and other malicious programs.

Of the Windows 7 systems that were attacked - but defended by Kaspersky's software - most were 64-bit editions.

While WannaCry made its initial impact more than a week ago, Suiche said his firm is continuing to see new systems hit.

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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Security experts also found that the ransomware spread by seeking out vulnerable machines on the net by itself, the BBC adds. Over $99,448 (296 payments) have been paid in bitcoins to the gang behind the attack, according to the BBC.

In laboratory testing, researchers at MWR and Kyptos say they have found Windows XP crashes before the virus can spread.

After taking down a number of UK National Health Service (NHS) trust and hospital systems, Microsoft issued an emergency patch in what is an unusual move for legacy, unsupported operating systems.

So it seems if Microsoft users want the ultimate protection from viruses they are best installing Windows 10.

On the other hand, less than one in a thousand were powered by Windows XP making it nearly insignificant for the discussion.

At first it was first thought that PC owners using Windows XP were most likely to be hit by the terrifying bug but new data has come to light which could disprove this.

Reports had shown that computer networks in more than 150 countries and more than 200,000 people had been affected by this attack, considered to be one of the biggest cybersecurity attacks in recent history.

Other reports by VgToday

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