The WannaCry ransomware that swept the globe on May 12 has slowed down its infection rate considerably in the last two weeks, but thousands of computers have been locked up by the malware. New variations of WannaCry may be in the works, too. If yours is one of over 200,000 machines already infected, there’s a small ray of hope from France where a researcher has crafted a decryption key—one that’s free.
WannaCry, also called WCry or WannaCrypt, encrypts Windows machines by taking advantage of a known software flaw. Microsoft issued a patch in March, but a significant number of PC users—probably a majority of users—haven’t updated yet. The patch needed is MS17-010; we urge you to update today.
French security researcher Adrien Guinet of QuarkLabs has created a possible solution for some machines. It seeks out the prime numbers in your system that were used to create the original key and has been reported to work on some machines using these operating systems: Windows XP, 7 x86, 2003, Vista, and Windows Server 2008.
The key is still in the testing stages, but it is available to try. If you’re intrigued, Guinet details the process here. Please be sure to share your results with Guinet’s team. We’d also like to hear if this free key works for you.
WannaCry travels as a wcry.exe file. Don’t open it. If WannaCry has hit your system, please share your experience with us by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.