Frenchman claims cure for WannaCry-infected computers

Posted May 20, 2017

The researchers said the tools are not flawless and only work if the infected computers have not been rebooted after being hit by the programme. The software has only been tested on a handful on computers that too only machines using Windows XP.

WannaCry, which started to sweep round the globe last Friday and has infected more than 300,000 computers in 150 nations, threatens to lock out victims who have not paid a sum of $300 to $600 within one week of infection. On the other hand, Windows XP systems that haven't been infected just yet must deploy Microsoft's patch that's available even for unsupported versions of Windows.

The fix is called wanakiwi and it comes from security researcher Benjamin Delpy.

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

Suiche, based in the United Arab Emirates and one of the world's top security researchers, provided advice and testing to ensure the fix worked across all various versions of Windows. It also points out how even in Windows 10, Microsoft is charging some customers extra if they want better security measures, which means that those who can't pay more are at a higher risk for vulnerabilities.

Guinet says an overlooked limitation in XP, however, can prevent this erasure.

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If the aforementioned condition is met, the app can recover the prime numbers of the RSA private key that are being used by WannaCry to encrypt your files. His software Wannakey can scour the memory of an infected XP machine and extract the p and q variables that the secret key was based on.

Europol said on Twitter that its European Cybercrime Centre had tested the team's new tool and said it was "found to recover data in some circumstances".

Do remember that this is only for Windows XP users infected with WannaCry who have not rebooted their systems at all since the encryption.

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After his fix for Windows XP came out, others looked for ways to extend that to other operating systems and have succeeded in applying the technique to the newer Windows 7 programme.