Bitdefender claims that it has blocked WannaCry from the beginning.

Unlike other ransomware families, the WannaCry strain does not spread via infected e-mails or infected links. Instead, it takes advantage of a security hole in most Windows versions to automatically execute itself on the victim’s PC.

According to various reports, this attack avenue has been developed by the National Security Agency (NSA) in the US as a cyber-weapon and it was leaked to the public earlier in April along with other classified data allegedly stolen from the agency.

Until now, a number of hospitals, telecom companies or gas and utilities plants have suffered massive disruptions caused by data being held at ransom.

As this ongoing outbreak is affecting countless computer users around the world, Bitdefender is actively working on a free decryption tool to help victims recover their information without paying the ransom. The company will notify users via Twitter and Facebook when it becomes available.

“While South Africa was not part of the initial WannaCry attack, it is only a matter of time before these criminals target local businesses,” says Simon Campbell-Young, CEO of Intact Software Distribution, a local distributor of Bitdefender.

“WannaCry is far and away the most severe malware attack so far in 2017, and the spread of this troubling ransomware is far from over. If you are not using a security solution we strongly recommend you install protection.”