Microsoft detained free security update that could've slowed down ransomware WannaCry, says report

Microsoft detained free security update that could've slowed down ransomware WannaCry, says report
The Siliconreview
19 May, 2017

American multinational technology giant Microsoft recently detained distributing a free security update that could have sheltered computers from the WannaCry global cyber attack, as reported by Financial Times recently.

Microsoft distributed a security update in middle of the March month, after it identified the security fault in its XP operating system that facilitated the so-called WannaCry ransomware to penetrate and solidify computers last week. But the Microsoft only sent the free security update -- or patch -- to the users of the most new version of the Windows 10 operating system, the report said.

The users of old software, such as Windows XP, had to pay heavy fees for technical support, it added.
"The high price highlights the quandary the world's biggest software company faces as it tries to force customers to move to newer and more secure software," it said.

A Microsoft spokesperson based in the United States told AFP: "Microsoft offers custom support agreements as a stopgap measure" for all the companies that chooses not to advance their systems.

"To be clear, Microsoft would prefer that companies upgrade and realise the full benefits of the latest version rather than choose custom support."

As per the FT, the cost of upgrading the older Windows versions "went from $200 per device in 2014, when regular support for XP ended, to $400 the following year," while few of the clients were asked to pay heftier fees.

The tech giant, Microsoft finished up distributing the free patch for the older versions on Friday -- the day the ransomware was noticed. Though the statement was "too late to hold the WannaCry outbreak," the report said.

However, the giant did not confirm to AFP about when it made the patch free.

Shadow Brokers, a hacking group released the malware in April asserts to have discovered the flaw from the NSA, according to Kaspersky Lab, a Russian cybersecurity provider.