Blaze’s Security Blog

Unless you haven’t accessed the internet for a week, you must have found out about WannaCry or one of the aliases it uses, such as WannaCryptor, WanaDecrypt0r, or WanaCry. In this blog post, I’ll make an effort to answer, in clear & concise language, some of the most asked questions. While there have been several excellent (technical) blog posts about WannaCry, that one will be non-technical and targets useful steps purely.

The most apparent question, but not an obvious answer necessarily. In essence, it is ransomware, software that holds your machine as well as your files ransom, until a fee is paid. In its latest version, it also presented a workable component; in other words, it might spread to other machines running Windows in your network. A worm is a type of malware that can replicate itself and therefore spread to other machines in a network. The name ‘WannaCry’ stems from the ransomware writers themselves, as that is how they named it.

How will WannaCry work? Figure 1 – How does the WannaCry ransomware work? Windows only. More specifically: Windows XP up to Windows 10, Windows Server 2003 up to Windows server 2016. This is actually the ransomware in its 100 % pure form only, however. Which os were affected the most? MAY I pass on WannaCry to others unwillingly, or in my network?

It is certainly possible, but only when the worm component is active and you have not updated Windows in some time. More specifically, you’ll need to set up MS17-010 to ‘close the hole’ or patch the vulnerability. When did the outbreak of WannaCry start? The outbreak reportedly started last week Friday, 12/05/2017, each day hours (UTC). However; it is possible the outbreak began the evening before that. Can something again such as this happen?

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Definitely. In fact, some malware family members also exploit(ed) the same vulnerability in Windows as stated above. What’s or was the WannaCry ‘get rid of change’? A get rid of change is a security measure used to shut off a device within an emergency. This is no different in WannaCry: a particular domain was played in the ransomware to do something as a wipe out change: if said domains are present & communicates this to the ransomware; leave immediately.

Thanks to MalwareTech, who signed up the domain, a lot of the WannaCry attacks were not able to spread further, since the domain existed. Remember that some variants appeared later with other ‘kill switch domains’, which were in short order authorized by other security analysts also. Can I decrypt or recover files encrypted by WannaCry? It is possible. An instrument, WannaKiwi, has been produced by several security research workers which might be able to bring back your data files.