New evidence suggests most WannaCry victims were running Windows 7, Windows XP is ‘insignificant’

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It has been one week since the WannaCry ransomware made its way into computers around the globe, but now that the dust has settled, researchers have had time to examine the true impacts. According to new reports, new evidence is suggesting that most WannaCry victims were running Windows 7, meaning that Windows XP is ‘insignificant’ when it comes to the distribution of the ransomware across Windows machines (via The Verge).

The data fueling the latest reports comes from Kapersky Lab, a Russian multinational cyber security and anti-virus provider. Their data shows that when put all together, about 98% of computers affected by WannaCry were running Windows 7. Windows XP, meanwhile, only accounted for about one in a thousand infections.

This latest data raises concerns: while most media emphasis was on Windows XP, Windows 7 was impacted too, and this one is still the most popular version of Windows nearly eight years after its release. It is worth noting that several months ago, Microsoft had issued a patch for recent versions of Windows which was aimed at protecting from the attack, but most administrators could have likely not installed it. Microsoft also recently issued an emergency patch for Windows XP, Windows 8, and Windows Sever 2003, aimed at stopping the exploit, but not before it had already spread worldwide.

The hacking group linked to WannaCry has suggested that more exploits could come, perhaps even having an impact on Windows 10. Microsoft, nonetheless, has criticized the government’s stockpiling of software vulnerabilities following the WannaCrypt ransomware attack.  As recently as yesterday, a French-based researcher has also suggested a method for WannaCry victims to decrypt their data without paying the ransom.