Security Experts Team Up to Help You Fight Ransomware

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Move over Avengers and Justice League: The Dutch National Police, Europol, Intel Security, and Kaspersky Lab are fighting ransomware.

No More Ransom is an online portal that aims to inform the public about the dangers of ransomware and help victims recover data without paying the price—literally.

Ransomware can lock your computer or encrypt your data; hackers then demand money in return for control over the affected device or files.

"The biggest problem with crypto-ransomware today is that when users have precious data locked down, they readily pay criminals to get it back," said Jornt van der Wiel, security researcher with Kaspersky Lab's global research and analysis team. "That boosts the underground economy, and we are facing an increase in the number of new players and the number of attacks as a result."

According to Europol's Deputy Director of Operations, Wil van Gemert, nearly two-thirds of EU member states are conducting investigations into the digital assaults.

"For a few years now, ransomware has become a dominant concern for EU law enforcement," van Gemert said. "It is a problem affecting citizens and business alike, computers and mobile devices, with criminals developing more sophisticated techniques to cause the highest impact on the victim's data."

On nomoreransom.org, users can find details on what ransomware is, how it works, and how to protect themselves. In its initial stage, the project contains four decryption tools for different types of malware. The latest was developed last month to combat the Shade Trojan, which spreads malware via websites and infected email attachments.

"Awareness is key as there are no decryption tools for all existing types of malware available to this day," a joint press release said. "If you are infected, the chances are high that the data will be lost forever."

The partnership also reminds folks not to pay the ransom: By making the payment, you are supporting the cyber criminal's business, and there is no guarantee they will restore the encrypted content.

Equally important is reporting ransomware to law enforcement: The No More Ransom website offers folks a safe place to disclose a crime.

"Initiatives like the No More Ransom project shows that linking expertise and joining forces is the way to go in the successful fight against cybercrime," van Gemert said. "We expect to help many people to recover control over their files, while raising awareness and educating the population on how to maintain their devices clean from malware."

"This is a joint responsibility," added Wilberg Paulissen, director of the National Criminal Investigation Division of National Police of the Netherlands. "Together we will do everything in our power to disturb criminals' money-making schemes and return files to their rightful owners without the latter having to pay loads of money."

For more, check out How to Protect and Recover Your Business from Ransomware.

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