TheWannacry ransomware that paralysed tens of thousands of computers in May worldwide can be used to attack Windows 10, security researchers have said.
Experts at US company Risksense have created a Windows 10 version of the security flaw – called Eternalblue – that Wannacry exploited in order to better understand how future attacks can be prevented.
No Windows 10 computers were affected by Wannacry during the attack last month. Despite initial reports that XP machines were most at risk, analysis suggests that 98 per cent of hacked computers were running Windows 7.
Risksense’s research is known as ‘white hat hacking’, in which the security of software and systems are tested by experts looking to find flaws before criminals do.
It has published a report explaining how Wannacry can infect Windows 10, but left out details “that would only be useful to attackers”. Sean Dillon, senior research analyst at Risksense, said the information would help the security industry develop “new techniques” to thwart ransomware.
His team removed a ‘backdoor’ from the flaw, which Wannacry was using to bypass antivirus software. Dillon said that Wannacry doesn’t actually need to use this tactic, and urged security researchers to stop wasting time looking for ways to block it.
Check for updates
To stay safe from Wannacry, Windows 10 users should make sure they have installed Microsoft’s MS17-010 update, which was released on 14 March to fix Eternalblue.
Updates are applied automatically by default in Windows 10, but to double-
check click the Start button, type update, then click ‘Windows Update settings’ from the list of results.
Next click the grey ‘Check for updates’ button in the ‘Update status’ section. If this finds any updates, click them. • Wannacry scams you need to avoid – turn to page 16