The global fight against ransomware continues to gather pace with more than 30 new partners from both the public and private sector joining the No More Ransom project.
The new partners bring with them more decryption tools, offering new support to victims of ransomware.
No More Ransom was launched in July 2016 by the Dutch National Police, Europol, Intel Security and Kaspersky Lab, introducing a new level of cooperation between law enforcement and the private sector to fight ransomware.
On the project's web portal, people can find information on what ransomware is, how it works and, most importantly, how to protect themselves and unlock files for free using one of the decryption tools.
Ransomware is a global epidemic, affecting people all over the world. To better reflect this, the online portal is now available not only in English, but also in Dutch, Russian, French, Italian and Portuguese, with more languages to be added soon.
Last week, Bitdefender, Emsisoft, Check Point and Trend Micro joined the project as new associate partners. As a result, new decryption tools have been added to nomoreransom.org, joining the eight tools already available free of charge to victims.
Since launch, nearly 6,000 people successfully decrypted their files without having to pay the criminals.
Jornt van der Wiel, security researcher at the Global Research and Analysis Team at Kaspersky Lab said, “Nobody is safe from ransomware. Our data shows that, over the last year, attacks on businesses increased three-fold, which represents a change from an attack every two minutes to one every 40 seconds. For individuals, the rate of increase went from every 20 seconds to every 10 seconds. This was matched by a surge in new types of ransomware.”
Wiel added, “Too many people still believed they had no alternative but to pay up, even though many that paid the ransom never got their files back – including one in five businesses. This project provides an alternative – to unlock your files without paying the ransom.”
Both the private sector and law enforcement are stepping up efforts to fight the cyber-criminals who are using ransomware to deprive their victims of large amounts of money. However, awareness remains key to stopping ransomware from being successful.
Some simple protection measures can prevent a lot of harm: always have a backup system in place so a ransomware infection can't destroy your personal data forever, use robust antivirus software to protect your system from ransomware, keep all of the software on your computer up to date and, since any account can be compromised, remain cautious at all times.