Free Ransomware Decryption Site Celebrates Milestone as New Threats Emerge

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As Europol celebrated the fifth anniversary of its anti-ransomware initiative this week, menacing new ransomware threats made it clear that the fight against cyber threats is never-ending.

The EU law enforcement cooperation agency said its No More Ransom website has saved ransomware victims almost a billion Euros with free ransomware decryption tools.

Europol has launched a new, more user-friendly website. Site visitors are greeted with a simple yes/no question: “Need help unlocking your digital life without paying your attackers?” Users who click “Yes” are directed to Crypto Sheriff, a tool that matches available decryptors to the user’s encrypted files. The site also provides guidance on preventing ransomware attacks. The key advice, however, is straightforward: “Paying the ransom is never recommended.”

No More Ransom was founded in 2016 by the Dutch National Police, Europol, Intel Security and Kaspersky Lab. The project now boasts 16 associate partners, including Emsisoft, Trend Micro, Bitdefender, Avast, Bleeping Computer, Cisco, Check Point, Tesorion, McAfee, ESET, CERT_PL, Eleven Paths, KISA, the French Police, and F-Secure.

In total, 170 public and private sector partners have made 121 tools available for free on the site to decrypt 151 ransomware families. Over the past five years, according to Europol, those decryptors have enabled over six million people to recover their files, blocking criminals from earning as much as a billion euros.

“Digitalization … provides us with the space to store hundreds of thousands of different files: pictures of our kids and pets, electronic tickets, projects, important matrixes we have worked on for weeks, archives filled with decades of knowledge and memories,” Europol said in a statement. “Ransomware enables criminals to steal all this in an instant. That is why it is crucial to beware, be aware and protect your digital world.”

Despite Europol’s efforts, ransomware continues to thrive, with several new threats launching in the past few weeks alone.

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Ransomware attack costs Illinois attorney general's office more than $2.5M – Chicago Tribune

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Ransomware attack costs Illinois attorney general’s office more than $2.5M  Chicago Tribune


Record 304.7 Million Ransomware Attacks Eclipse 2020 Global Total in Just 6 Months

Protect yourself from online attacks that threaten your identity, your files, your system, and your financial well-being.

  • Ransomware showed massive year-to-date spikes in the U.S. (185%), U.K. (144%)

  • Ryuk, Cerber, SamSam top families of the year, making up 64% of all ransomware volume

  • Government, education, healthcare, retail verticals increasingly targeted by ransomware

  • Up 59% year-to-date globally, IoT malware continues growth since 2018

  • Cryptojacking malware remains a key threat, up 23% year-to-date globally and up 22% in the U.S.

  • SonicWall’s patented RTDMI™ finding more never-before-seen malware than ever, posting a 54% year-to-date increase over the first half of 2020

MILPITAS, Calif., July 29, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — In the first half of 2021, ransomware attacks skyrocketed, eclipsing the entire volume for 2020 in only six months, according to the mid-year update to the 2021 SonicWall Cyber Threat Report published today. In a new paradigm for cybercrime, SonicWall is analyzing how threat actors are using any means possible to further their malicious intents.

SonicWall (PRNewsfoto/SonicWall)

SonicWall (PRNewsfoto/SonicWall)

Ransomware showed massive year-to-date spikes in the U.S. (185%), U.K. (144%)

With high-profile attacks against established technology and infrastructure, ransomware is now more prevalent than ever. Through the first half of 2021, SonicWall recorded global ransomware volume of 304.7 million, surpassing 2020’s full-year total (304.6 million) — a 151% year-to-date increase.

“In a year driven by anxiety and uncertainty, cybercriminals have continued to accelerate attacks against innocent people and vulnerable institutions,” said SonicWall President and CEO Bill Conner. “This latest data shows that sophisticated threat actors are tirelessly adapting their tactics and embracing ransomware to reap financial gain and sow discord. With remote working still widespread, businesses continue to be highly exposed to risk, and criminals are acutely aware of uncertainty across the cyber landscape. It’s crucial that organizations move toward a modern Boundless Cybersecurity approach to protect against both known and unknown threats, particularly when everyone is more remote, more mobile and less secure than ever.”

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