So, there’s been a rant about the Windows vulnerability and un-patched systems being exploited by Wanna Decryptor. Well, while some of that is supposedly the user’s fault (why to click on something you’re not sure of what it is) and some of it is fault of the way the ransomware has been described in the wilderness. Why the latter you may ask? Simply because, there’s been a lot of hoax and noise about what seems to be yet another ransomware attack – only this time it is related to a vulnerability that was supposed to be fixed only if the users updated Windows.
Apart form the noise, here are some facts and finds pertinent to this specific ransomware.
The malware itself: Wanna decryptor (wncry) ransomware is reported to be based on a tool developed by the NSA to hack into computers. The NSA tool was used by a hacker group called the Shadow Brokers. The code is publicly available and can be found in https://github.com/RiskSense-Ops/MS17-010
Delivery: The malware is delivered as a Trojan through a loaded hyperlink that can be accidentally opened by a victim through an email, advert on a web page or a Dropbox link.
Activation and exploit: Once wncry is activated, the ransomware spreads through the computer and locks all the files. Once the files have been encrypted wncry deletes the originals and delivers a ransom note in the form of a read me file. Moreover, it changes the victim’s computer’s wallpaper to a message demanding payment to return the files.
The specifics: wncry malware modifies files in the /Windows and /windows/system32 directories and enumerates other users on the network to infect.
Mitigation: Use latest AV definitions, personal / corporate firewalls, and don’t click on anything that doesn’t sound right.
Repercussion: $300 ransom to be paid to un-encrypt your data.
Story from Microsoft: Microsoft has not disclosed how it came to know about the vulnerabilities included in the MS17-010 patch. Microsoft also has not disclosed any information about “in the wild” exploitation of these vulnerabilities. Either way, here’s the location of the security update https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/security/ms17-010.aspx
Summarizing – this is a big outbreak and getting to know the malware well before running into it serves well. Patch your Windows machines and make sure the AV signatures are updated. And above all, don’t click on anything unintended or unaccounted for.