Posse Formed to Fight Ransomware Crooks

PaulRubens on Monday July 25, 2016 at 10:52:35 AM

Posse Formed to Fight Ransomware Crooks

The No More Ransom project aims to starve cybercriminals of ransomware booty by offering free decryption tools.

(CCM) — A group of security companies and law enforcement agencies has declared war on cybercriminals who use ransomware to extort money from their victims. Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts data on an infected machine and then demands payment for the key needed to decrypt it — often using a cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin. The No More Ransom project, a collaboration between the Dutch National Police, Europol, Intel Security, and Kaspersky Lab, has created a set of four software tools that contain more than 160,000 known decryption keys used by almost 20 different ransomware variants. The tools enable some ransomware victims to decrypt their data without making any ransom payments to criminals.

Since it is not always possible to decrypt victim's data, the project also seeks to educate users about the ways that ransomware works and the countermeasures that can be taken to prevent infection. Without the decryption keys, it is usually only possible for users to retrieve their data from a backup, if one exists. According to Kaspersky Lab, the number of users falling victim to ransomware has exploded from 131,000 last year to 718,000 this year.

Image: © iStock.


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