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Almost All WannaCry Victims Were Running Windows 7 (theverge.com) 123

An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: According to data released today by Kaspersky Lab, roughly 98 percent of the computers affected by the ransomware were running some version of Windows 7, with less than one in a thousand running Windows XP. 2008 R2 Server clients were also hit hard, making up just over 1 percent of infections. Windows 7 is still by far the most common version of Windows, running on roughly four times as many computers as Windows 10 worldwide. Since more recent versions of Windows aren't vulnerable to WannaCry, it makes sense that most of the infections would hit computers running 7. Still, the stark disparity emphasizes how small of a role Windows XP seems to have played in spreading the infection, despite early concerns about the outdated operating system. The new figures also bear on the debate over Microsoft's patching practices, which generated significant criticism in the wake of the attack. Microsoft had released a public patch for Windows 7 months before the attack, but the patch for Windows XP was only released as an emergency measure after the worst of the damage had been done. The patch was available earlier to paying Custom Support customers, but most XP users were left vulnerable, each unpatched computer a potential vector to spread the ransomware further. Still, Kaspersky's figures suggest that unpatched XP devices played a relatively small role in the spread of the ransomware.
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Almost All WannaCry Victims Were Running Windows 7

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  • Since more recent versions of Windows aren't vulnerable to WannaCry, it makes sense that most of the infections would hit computers running 7. Still, the stark disparity emphasizes how small of a role Windows XP seems to have played in spreading the infection, despite early concerns about the outdated operating system.

    Really old systems in Hospitals that only run winblows XP and were effecting the lives of patents were the main concerns on the XP front. Only a few getting infected with wcry and encrypting

  • Win X Upgrade (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19, 2017 @06:14PM (#54451675)

    If MS hadn't tried to force Win10 down Win7 user's throats maybe more would have been installing patches.

  • monocropping (Score:5, Insightful)

    by goombah99 ( 560566 ) on Friday May 19, 2017 @06:17PM (#54451693)

    Monocropping leads to viruses whether agricultural or operating systems. Not much more to be said than that other than to point out Intels are the ultimate monocrop and they have a gigantic backdoor called the Management Engine.

    In the age of global terrorism, one can expect engineered viruses for agriculture and computers to only increase till something we can't get past comes along. then we'll act in hindsight.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    So any Microsoft update patching this vulnerability is moot.

  • Conspiracy Theory (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dryriver ( 1010635 ) on Friday May 19, 2017 @06:21PM (#54451723)
    MS wanted everybody on Windows 7 to upgrade to Win10 pronto - so they got someone to write Wannacry and release it into the wild. =)
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Windows 10 was actually just a ploy to get people so desperate to avoid being forcibly upgraded to Windows 10 that Windows 7 users would disable updates, thereby missing the update that made them immune the the vulnerability used by WannaCry and getting infected with Ransomware, hopefully resulting in them upgrading to Windows 10.

      So fiendishly simple...

    • MS wanted everybody on Windows 7 to upgrade to Win10 pronto - so they got someone to write Wannacry and release it into the wild. =)

      Not convoluted enough. M$ spying information goes straight to the feds, so they leaked this vulnerability to induce people to leave Windows 7 and go to Windows 10 so that they will be vulnerable to spying via telemetry.

      I could take it well into fever dream territory but I have better things to do

  • Supposing you have a machine that's hasn't been offline and not been updated for some time and then you connect to the internet and try to update it. Windows update is so slow and installs the updates in no special order - least important first, so Wannacry is going to get to you before Windows update has a chance to install that patch.

    • Generally you are pwned in that way if you're connecting your PC directly to the internet with no hardware firewall or router which I suspect is pretty rare. Other than setting your router to DMZ mode (which might as well be called "PLEASE HACK ME" mode) as long as you have a router you generally don't get hacked that way. Typically the user has to initiate some action that gets them hacked, though it can be as innocent as opening an e-mail or loading a website they trust. I would say as long as you don't really start to use the internet until your patches are up to date the risk is pretty low.

      That said you should keep up with patches in the first place. Windows does it for you and there's usually never a good reason to stop it.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        That said you should keep up with patches in the first place. Windows does it for you and there's usually never a good reason to stop it.

        Until recently, I'd agree. But how many people turned off updates during the "free" Windows 10 thing? That in it's self damn near felt like there was a virus on your computer. Then there's the telemetry update that got added to Windows 7. Anyone who didn't want that also had to turn off automatic download and install of updates.

    • Wuauserv probably silently stopped working on many older installations
    • Supposing you have a machine that's hasn't been offline and not been updated for some time and then you connect to the internet and try to update it. Windows update is so slow and installs the updates in no special order - least important first, so Wannacry is going to get to you before Windows update has a chance to install that patch.

      Not if you're behind a router and you don't open any suspicious emails while it's updating. From what I remember reading (I could be wrong), you only get infected from certain open ports or opening infected emails.

  • ... Win7 easily allows the end user to disable updates, unlike win8/10 which will automatically re-enable them for you. A fully up to date win7 would also have received the patch in March that would have closed the vulnerability.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    ...because turning off windows update was the only way to stop ms from stuffing Windows10, Telemetry and other fuckups down our throat...

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Didn't affect my AMiGA.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 19, 2017 @06:34PM (#54451839)

    Windows updates stopped working on my Windows 7 machine about September last year and nothing except for a complete reinstall seems to get it working again - neither Microsoft repair tools, nor 3rd party tools, nothing. It just rolls back every update as failed for almost a year, and I guess I'm not the only one with this problem. So of course the latest patches are not installed.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I had the same problem and I managed to get it fixed about 2 months ago by following some arcane sequence of actions, involving manually installing some updates with the machine offline and windows updates turned off. Then I had to wait for 3 hours for the whole process to complete.

    • by Trogre ( 513942 )

      Download the following patches and chuck them on a flash key, along with a batch file to disable wuauserv and apply each of them in turn:
      kb3138612
      kb3145739
      kb3164033
      kb3020369
      kb3172605
      kb3168965

      Reboot once, then do it again.

      I've done this on dozens of Windows 7 machines that were in the apparently eternal search for updates, and all of them got their updates about five minutes after installing the above.

  • If a patch was released months ago, why did so many people not install it?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by TimSSG ( 1068536 )
      Likely because MS trained them to turn off Windows Update because of the Windows 10 virus. Tim S.

      If a patch was released months ago, why did so many people not install it?

    • Same reasons as always. Lazy and incompetent IT staff at corporations, low knowledge techies that disable Windows Update, long beards who only install certain updates manually after reading the associated KB article and self-determining whether or not they need an update.

      This is one of the reasons that Microsoft set Windows Update to be automatic in Windows 10. It makes the OS much safer and generally makes the internet safer as a whole.

      • by zephvark ( 1812804 ) on Friday May 19, 2017 @07:41PM (#54452191)

        This is one of the reasons that Microsoft set Windows Update to be automatic in Windows 10. It makes the OS much safer and generally makes the internet safer as a whole.

        Citation needed. I have seen many Windows updates that cause Windows to completely fail to start. This may mean you need to completely reinstall the OS, which is time-consuming and may leave you open to infection the whole time.

        If you have used Windows for any length at all, you are quite familiar with the ritual of "download!" "reboot!" "download some more!" "reboot!" (repeat while cursing, gnashing your teeth, ripping your hair out and wailing).

        • You need a citation that security updates make a computer safer?

          • by Ol Olsoc ( 1175323 ) on Friday May 19, 2017 @09:36PM (#54452717)

            You need a citation that security updates make a computer safer?

            You can prove that there is less virus activity because of Windows 10.

            All said, a lot of people turned off Windows 7 updates just because Microsoft loaded Windows 10 on their machines without permission. A lot of people got mysterious blank windows that would install Windows ten with a pretty tenuous definition of "permission".

            Microsoft's insidious practice of trying to ram W10 down peoples gullets, with an interface they didn't like and telemetry they didn't want, and update and security they didn't want, and when the best way to avoid the assault on your property was to turn off updates....

            Sorry, but a lot of us are of the opinion that Windows 10, rather than make the internet safe, when coupled with Microsoft's heavy handed intrusion on people - set up the situation of both disabling updates, and disabling migration to Windows 10.

            Which in turn, helped enable this problem.

        • Citation needed. I have seen many Windows updates that cause Windows to completely fail to start.

          That's the new Windows model - Security through inoperability.

      • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Friday May 19, 2017 @08:35PM (#54452395) Homepage

        Same reasons as always. Lazy and incompetent IT staff at corporations, low knowledge techies that disable Windows Update, long beards who only install certain updates manually after reading the associated KB article and self-determining whether or not they need an update. This is one of the reasons that Microsoft set Windows Update to be automatic in Windows 10. It makes the OS much safer and generally makes the internet safer as a whole.

        And if they put in a safe, encased the safe in concrete and dumped it at the bottom of the ocean it'd be even safer. Not very user-friendly though, neither is the force-feeding of random feature updates at inconvenient times. They could have had a category for "Security bulletins and critical updates" that contained only tiny, to-the-point patches for exploits and other big malfunctions, no feature upgrades, no license checks, no trivial extras just the absolute minimum no sane user should disable and 99% of this problem would go away. I'm happy running an OS from 2009. Before that I was running an OS from 2001. I don't need feature updates twice a year and particularly not GUI makeovers.

        I realize though that having a zillion combination of patches might be a pain to support, so here's what I'd like to have seen:
        1. Microsoft releases version A. You can either stay on stable branch A or get rolling updates A*.
        2. After 4 years Microsoft takes the current setup, calls it B. You now have three supported configurations A, B, B*.
        3. After 8 years Microsoft takes the current setup, calls it C. You now have four supported configurations A, B, C and C*.
        4. After 10 years support for A ends, before that you should migrate to B, C or C*.
        From there they'd just bounce between 3-4 supported configurations of N-2, N-1, N and N*.

        Most importantly still regardless of when it's updated everything should come with an off switch. I don't mind if Microsoft asks for telemetry. I have a problem with Microsoft demanding telemetry. It's like my car dealer refusing to service the car unless I've kept a log of how I've used it. I could almost live with that if you had to find some obscure setting only 0.01% would turn off. But it's when you deny me that choice this smells really foul. Not that I expect Microsoft to do anything really ugly until most people are on Win10 and can't disable the updates.

      • by malkavian ( 9512 )

        You've never run a heterogenous enterprise setup, with hundreds of vendor systems in it?

      • Same reasons as always. Lazy and incompetent IT staff at corporations, low knowledge techies that disable Windows Update, long beards who only install certain updates manually after reading the associated KB article and self-determining whether or not they need an update.

        This is one of the reasons that Microsoft set Windows Update to be automatic in Windows 10. It makes the OS much safer and generally makes the internet safer as a whole.

        Thank you, you can pick up your check tomorrow.

        Just don't be so rough on the assholes, they are going to catch on to us.

  • This does not surprise me. I have two systems on which the update process was broken on Windows 7. With auto-updates set for automatic mode, updates would not install. If you manually force the system to check for updates, it gets stuck in an endless loop showing a moving progress indicator. This is the best link I found to deal with the issue: http://www.askvg.com/fix-windows-7-keeps-checking-for-updates-for-hours/ [askvg.com]

    If the process is broken and there's no notification, then all of these systems are vulner
  • For 2 reasons:

    1. MS pushing telemetry as updates.
    2. W7 updates stuck at "Downloading 0%" for hours and hours, then failing.

    So now I use wsusoffline every time a periodic "quality and security rollup" is released. It's not as convenient, but it works. I still have to check for telemetry.

    P.S. problem # 2 was actually solved by stopping wuauserv, deleting the contents of %windows%\SoftwareDistribution\datastore and %windows%\SoftwareDistribution\downloads, and starting wuauserv again.

  • I'll wait for the Linux port. ;)

  • I expect a class action suit to be filed alleging that a majority of those that were infected were put in that position by unethical behaviour of Microsoft forcing Windows 10 upgrades -- which forced those that wanted to stay on Windows 7 longer to turn off automatic patching of the operating system.

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