Skip to main content

Possible fix for WannaCry found

(Image credit: Image Credit: Datto)

As the dust continues to settle after the huge WannaCry ransomware attack,  French researchers say they may have now found a fix.

According to a Reuters report (opens in new tab), a team of security experts has developed and released a new tool which should alleviate the damage caused by last week's attack.

The team comprises of security expert Adrien Guinet, hacker Matthieu Suiche, and  Benjamin Delpy, “who helped out by night, in his spare time, outside his day job at the Banque de France”. 

Europol said on Twitter that its European Cybercrime Centre had tested the team's new tool and said it was "found to recover data in some circumstances".

It comes with a few caveats, though. If the timer on WannaCry ran out, and the files were permanently locked, the fix doesn’t work. It also won’t work if the infected computer was rebooted since first infected. 

"We knew we must go fast because, as time passes, there is less chance to recover," said Delpy, adding that they’ve named the tool “wanakiwi”. It currently works on Windows 7, XP and 2003. They’re still working on versions for Vista and Windows 2008. "(The method) should work with any operating system from XP to Win7," Suiche told Reuters, via direct message on Twitter.

Ransomware, the type of malware which encrypts all files on an infected machine and demands ransom to decrypt them, was usually considered impossible to remedy. 

Instead, security experts advised everyone to keep backup copies of their files and be extra careful which files they download and run on their machines.

Image Credit: Datto

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.