The persistent threat of ransomware is a constant concern to the cybersecurity community. The attacks have become so widespread, namely due to their lucrative nature, that even the layperson has likely heard the term. To fight ransomware, Europol launched the “No More Ransom” project five years ago. The idea was to protect individuals from giving in to demands by collecting the decryptors and giving them away for free. According to a recent Europol announcement, No More Ransom has indeed been effective.
The press release gives the following information to indicate the success of No More Ransom:
The decryptors available in the No More Ransom repository have helped more than six million people to recover their files for free. This prevented criminals from earning almost a billion euros through ransomware attacks. Currently offering 121 free tools able to decrypt 151 ransomware families, it unites 170 partners from the public and private sector. The portal is available in 37 languages.
By localizing decryptors in one easy-to-find location, ransomware victims are able to decrypt their data without having to pay the ransom. This takes away all control from the criminals that utilize ransomware, as they bank on their victims, fearing data loss or data leaks. Other areas that have been targeted, such as hospitals, also have been seen giving in to ransom demands because vital functions of the facility are taken offline in an attack.
No More Ransom effectively cuts off the attacker at the knees, and additionally, it renders ransomware obsolete. If a threat actor cannot be paid for their crimes, they will try other methods. It is simple logic.
In celebration of the five-year anniversary of No More Ransom, Europol set up a new website, of which they state the following:
A new No More Ransom website has been launched to mark the project’s fifth year. Modern and more user-friendly, the new home of the Crypto Sheriff offers updated information on ransomware, as well as advice on how to prevent a ransomware infection.
Perhaps this is the first step in rendering the damaging malware obsolete? Time will tell.
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