'Windows 10 is only OS safe from WannaCry', says Microsoft

French researchers claim cure for Wanna Cry-infected computers

In addition, while unpatched Windows computers can be remotely attacked with the Eternal Blue exploit and infected by the WannaCry ransomware, the lack of existence of this vulnerability does not really prevent the ransomware component from working, Kaspersky said.

More modern operating systems - those now being supported by Microsoft - were able to download a critical security patch released on the 14 March, immunising their computers against WannaCry. However, its market share is not much higher than 50%, so the fact that most victims were using this operating system, while the other 50% of users, although divided in other versions, has not been affected.

The ransomware worm took advantage of a flaw in Windows' server message block (SMB) v1, which was revealed in the Shadow Brokers' recent dump of Windows exploits from the National Security Agency (NSA).

According to a report from The Washington Post, the NSA warned Microsoft about EternalBlue prior to the exploit being made public. Computer threats have changed and are becoming more complex.

A week ago, an ransomware coded as WannaCry abused a security vulnerability in Microsoft's Windows XP OS. The company has also released a standalone tool to scan and vaccinate potentially vulnerable Windows machines which can be found on GitHub.

Because of the way WannaCry spreads sneakily inside organisation networks, a far larger total of ransomed computers sitting behind company firewalls may be hit, possibly numbering upward of a million machines.

Upwards of 230,000 computers worldwide were infected by the cryptoworm on May 12th during an attack that spread to more than 150 countries. The result: "Users unlikely to get files restored", the company's Security Response team tweeted.

The "accidental hero" who registered a web address that became the so-called kill switch for WannaCry has said hackers are trying to overwhelm the site to resurrect the ransomware that plagued companies around the world.

The rapid recovery by many organisations with unpatched computers caught out by the attack may largely be attributed to back-up and retrieval procedures they had in place, enabling technicians to re-image infected machines, experts said. That was almost double the share of the newer Windows 10, which clocked in at 29%, and more than eight times that of Windows XP's 8%.

We have said it on several occasions, but we repeat it once again.

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