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No More Ransom saves $632 million from scammers

Benson Toti

Europol’s description tool can now decrypt 140 different types of ransomware to prevent victims from being blackmailed by hackers

Europol, The European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation, has stated that it’s No More Ransom decryption tool has successfully saved $632 million in ransom demands since 2016. According to a press release by Europol earlier today, the decryption tool repository has registered over 4.2 million visitors from 188 countries since its launch.

Some have pointed to the correlation between cryptocurrencies and the use of ransomware, as crypto is often the preferred payment method hackers ask for their ransom in.

Celebrating its four-year anniversary this month, No More Ransomware has established itself as a free scheme that enables victims of ransomware to regain access to their data without paying the hackers.

Ransomware is a type of malware that threatens to publish the victim’s data or perpetually block access to it unless a ransom is paid. Ransomware has used a diverse set of methods to lure victims online making it increasingly difficult to ensure data security. Europol’s No More Ransom decryption tool was launched to combat ransomware and can now decrypt 140 different types of ransomware infections.

No More Ransom is the first public-private partnership of its kind helping victims of ransomware recover their encrypted data without having to pay the ransom amount to cybercriminals. Users can easily access the software through its website and detect the type of ransomware affecting the device. The website will then allow free download of the decryption tool, if available.

The decryption tool is powered by contributions from 163 partners from across the world and is constantly updating its software to enable it to handle the emerging forms of cybercrime.  The decryption software has over 100 tools with 28 new tools added in the past year and the portal is now available in 36 languages.

Brett Callow, threat analyst at Emsisoft explained that the project has helped a large number of people recover data without having to pay the ransom, which means less money in the pockets of criminals.

“The project also helps people recover data that would otherwise permanently be lost. The loss of things like wedding photos and videos of babies’ first steps is, obviously, heartbreaking for people, and being able to help them get those things back is an important part of what No More Ransom does,” Callow explained.

The press release explained preventive measures that users must take to protect themselves from ransomware.

Written by Harshini Nag

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