- Almost all the computers hit by the WannaCry ransomware attack earlier this month were running Windows 7, not Windows XP, according to research from Kaspersky Lab. Initial reports of the attack indicated Windows XP was one of the primary targets.
- Though the rate of WannaCry incidents have slowed, hackers are trying to reignite the cyberattack by using the Mirai botnet, which emerged last year, to target the kill-switch that stops WannaCry, Wired reports. If the malicious actors prove successful, the rash of ransomware could start spreading once again.
- Thus far researchers have been able to deter the Mirai botnet attacks, but almost as soon as the kill-switch was activated, hackers have directed botnet attacks against the domain. The security researcher who discovered the kill-switch, said the domain has had DDoS attacks almost every day, according to Wired.
Early reports of the attack pointed to much older versions of Windows as the primary target of the ransomware. But attacks against Windows XP were minimal. Instead, malicious actors targeted versions of Windows 7. Even Windows 10 suffered from the attack, however Kaspersky said those are related to testers and manual infections.
As of last week's count, the WannaCry cyberattack reached 200,000 targets in at least 150 countries, the head of the European Union's police agency reported. The attack disrupted at least 16 hospitals in England as well as large international companies including FedEx, telecom companies Telefónica of Spain and Megafon of Russia and car maker Nissan. Russia's Interior Ministry and several Chinese universities were also affected.
Experts were initially concerned that as people returned to work May 15, they could start WannaCry up again. So far that doesn’t appear to have happened, and no significant reports of new breakouts have occurred. But if attackers successfully take down the kill-switch, the malware could start spreading once again.
It's yet another example of how important it is to update software. Despite Windows 10’s rise, Windows 7 is still the most popular OS, and could remain so for a long time. Unfortunately, more attacks like WannaCry may have to take place before more organizations grow concerned enough to upgrade to more secure software like Windows 10.