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No to ransomware: How 1.5m people avoided extortion with free decrypting tools

As ransomware extortion gangs persist, the “No More Ransom” project is offering free tools for decrypting 165 families of ransomware.

user iconReporter
Wed, 27 Jul 2022
No to ransomware: How 1.5m people avoided extortion with free decrypting tools
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The No More Ransom project was first launched in 2016 by Europol, the Dutch National Police (Politie), and a handful of cyber security and IT companies with four decryption tools available. Since then, it has grown to offer 136 free decryption tools for 165 variants of ransomware, including GandCrab, REvil, Maze, and more.

According to Europol, the No More Ransom project has helped over 1.5 million victims successfully decrypt their devices without having to pay a ransom for a decryption key, preventing an estimated $1.5 billion from ending up in the hands of cyber criminals.

As ransomware continues to be a problem, the agency is under "no illusions that the battle against ransomware has been won", as cyber actors are constantly reinventing ransomware software with increased efficacy.

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According to Marijn Schuurbiers, head of operations at Europol's European Cybercrime Centre (EC3), as cyber actors have adopted perpetual remodelling of ransomware, law enforcement agencies should follow suit.

"It's up to us as Europol and other law enforcement agencies to keep evolving ourselves as well, rethink our strategies beyond No More Ransom.

"The No More Ransom platform is in place and hopefully it will stay in place for a long time as an answer to many of those scams," Schuurbiers said.

The No Ransom project is powered by over 188 partners from the private sector, the public sector, law enforcement, and academia, who are involved in the No More Ransom project supporting the portal that is now available in 37 languages that is designed to help victims of ransomware attacks globally.

Europol has urged cyber hack victims not to pay a ransom if subjected to a ransom attack. The agency has suggested the best course of action is to check the No More Ransom portal for help and report the incident to the police as each ransomware attack report can assist with insights into how this type of cyber crime works.

[Related: Hacker puts 5.4m Twitter account details on sale with $30k price tag]

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