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29 Jul 2022

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No More Ransom project urges victims to focus on decrypting lost data instead of paying ransoms

No More Ransom is a project of the National High Tech Crime Unit of the Dutch police, Europol's European Cybercrime Centre, as well as Kaspersky and McAfee. As the project enters its sixth year, it urges ransomware victims not to pay ransoms, but to instead focus on the growing number of tools that can be used to decrypt lost files.

136 free tools are now available to decrypt data and files encrypted by cyber criminals, according to No More Ransom. These tools have already been used by more than ten million organizations and individuals. According to a press release from the organization, 1.5 million of them have succeeded in decrypting the data.

The tools are designed to protect against attacks by hacker groups such as Gandcrab, REvil, Sodinokibi, Maze, Egregor and Sekhmet. Over 188 public and private sector partners have now joined the initiative, providing new tools to decrypt malicious software. Originally only available in English, the portal with ransomware decryption tools is now available in 37 languages.

According to the organization, prevention is always better than trying to resolve a ransomware problem. Backing up data, avoiding untrustworthy links, not opening attachments from unknown senders, updating operating systems and security software, limiting data export options, and applying two-factor authentication are all recommended.

Moreover, the project encourages victims of ransomware attacks to always report the crime. Any public relations issues or embarrassments are outweighed by the knowledge that government agencies, security firms and projects like No More Ransom acquire from these reports.

Photo credit: Muha Ajjan

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