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Windows XP was not especially vulnerable to Wannacry

by on31 May 2017

Windows 7 machines might have been the problem

Windows XP was not as vulnerable to the WannaCry ransomware as many assumed.

Security experts at Kryptos research found that XP computers hit with the most common WannaCry attack just crashed and never managed to instal or spread the ransomware.

The researchers found that the core of WannaCry is a vulnerability in a Windows file-sharing system called SMB, which allowed WannaCry to spread quickly across vulnerable systems with no user interaction.

But when Kryptos researchers targeted an XP computer with the malware in a lab setting, they found that the computers either failed to install or exhibited a "blue screen of death", requiring a hard reset.

This means that the only way for WannaCry to be installed on XP machines was if it was done manually.

Kryptos said that the worst-case scenario was that WannaCry caused many unexplained blue-screen-of-death crashes among XP machines.

This ties with early research from Kaspersky Lab, which found that Windows XP accounted for an "insignificant" percentage of the total infections. Kaspersky found the bulk of infections on machines running Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008.

Last modified on 31 May 2017
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