No More Ransom is a project to help and protect victims of ransomware attacks — Thanks to Intel, Kaspersky, Europol and Dutch Police for the initiative!
IT security giants Intel and Kaspersky with the assistance of Europol and Dutch Police have developed an anti-ransomware portal called ‘No More Ransom’ to help users against the growing threat of ransomware and recover their data for free in order to discourage the trend of paying ransom for decryption of their encrypted data.
Symantec’s threat report claims that email phishing scams have substantially declined in the last three years, but incidences where crypto-ransomware was used to encrypt data and demand payment in exchange to unlock it has increased by 35% in 2015 alone.
Recently in numerous cases, the FBI asked victims to simply pay the ransom in order to get their data back but ‘No More Ransom’ portal has been developed to help victims get their data back for free and stop feeding hackers and cybercriminals. That’s not all, the portal also educated users on how to protect their system and files within, advantages of backing up their data, the importance of safe web browsing, and dangers of downloading data from untrusted sites and emails.
“The general advice is not to pay the ransom. By sending your money to cybercriminals you’ll only confirm that ransomware works, and there’s no guarantee you’ll get the encryption key you need in return.”
The portal also allows users to scan their files to detect ransomware in their computers. In case the system is infected; the tool goes on with decrypting the files with a database containing 160,000 verified decryption keys, if matched the encrypted files will be decrypted however if the tool doesn’t find a matching key the user will be out of luck but there is no harm in scanning files as it’s for free anyway.
We got in touch with Andra Zaharia of Heimdal Security, a known researcher and writer on ransomware-related issues who acknowledge ‘No More Ransom’ as a positive initiative to tackle cyber crime.
“The “No More Ransom!” initiative is a much-needed effort to curb the further development and widespread distribution of cryptoware. Users everywhere need to rest assured that there are plenty of good guys on their side, who can help them prevent ransomware infections. Unfortunately for many ransomware victims, the initiative may not be able to help them get back their data. But new decryption tools are created constantly, so some may be lucky enough to get their information back without paying the ransom.
No matter how they got infected, victims of encrypting malware should report the cyber crime to the authorities. This is crucial for intelligence gathering and to reinforce this common effort against ransomware and the cybercriminals behind it. Each of our actions contributes to making the web a safer place or a more vulnerable one. Paying more attention to our online safety is a personal choice and a necessary one to make.
We recommend everyone to read about ransomware and learn the basic measures they can apply to protect their data and devices against it.”
If you are not a victim but a witness to an online crime the portal also lets users report the crime straight to the police in Europe and the United States helping to tackle the growing cyber crimes as most online users are not familiar with cyber crime and how to report them.
Previously Nascar and ProtonMail were forced to pay a ransom and the FBI also advise users to pay the ransom. In such situation where high-profile agencies like the FBI tell people to feed cyber criminals, a portal like ‘No More Ransom’ will be a breath of fresh air for innocent users and bad news for cyber criminals.