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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