The fight against Ransomware is challenging. This is because not only are ransomware attacks unsettling, but in several cases, victims choose to pay the ransom demand for the decryption key as they are desperate to get their files back. This adds fuel to the fire, promoting more ransomware attacks as these criminals know they can make easy money off these unaware people.
However, one scheme continues to take the fight back against these ransomware gangs. This scheme has now facilitated over 1.5 million victims to decrypt their data without giving any ransom money. This has saved an estimated $1.5 billion of the hard-earned money of the consumers. Also, it has stopped this money from getting into the hands of these cyber criminals.
The figures come from Europol on the sixth anniversary of No More Ransomware. This is the European Union law enforcement agency’s anti-ransomware initiative.
No More Ransom?
No More Ransom was first launched in 2016 by Europol, the Dutch National Police and a few cybersecurity and IT companies with the availability of four decryption tools. This operation has now grown to offer 136 free-of-cost decryption tools for 165 variants of Ransomware. These include REvil, GandCrab, Maze, and many more.
Over 188 partners from the public sector, the private sector, law enforcement, academia and others are now involved in the operation, which continues to invent and provide new decryption tools, with an available portal in 37 languages to help these innocent victims of ransomware attacks to get their data back.
European Law enforcement helps decrypt 1.5 million people’s data from Ransomware.
As per Europol, the operation has helped over victims decrypt their devices free of cost without needing to pay even a single penny. But, the war is not won yet, and the agency knows it. They are aware that Ransomware not only continues to be a problem but also continues to become more elusive, hazardous and effective.
“It’s up to us as Europol and other law enforcement agencies to keep evolving and updating ourselves. We also need to rethink our initiative to envelop strategies beyond No More Ransom. The No More Ransom platform is in a good place, and hopefully, it will stay in this spot for a long time. This is an answer to these scams,” said Marijn Schuurbiers, head of operations (HOO) at Europol’s Cybercrime Centre (EC3).
Law enforcement agencies worldwide are also looking at new ways to prevent attacks. The major one is disrupting organizations used by cybercriminals. Europol has previously acted against cybercrime in this manner.
Ransomware Prevention/ how to protect against Ransomware
There are some measures which everyone can take to help avoid being a victim of Ransomware. Europol recommends these measures:
●Frequently backing up data on devices, so it can be recovered quickly even if your data is encrypted/
●Ensuring all the security software and operating systems are up to date with the latest security patches provided by the operator
●Using multi-factor authorization to help prevent your accounts from being hacked and abused to help launch ransomware attacks on unsuspecting victims
My PC affected by Ransomware attack.
If you have become a victim of a ransomware attack, Europol has urged victims not to pay a ransom. They have told the public to check out the free No More Ransom portal for help and report the incident to the police immediately. This is stressed as each report of a ransomware attack can aid the authorities in getting additional insights into how Ransomware works.