Just three months after its formation, an international coalition to fight ransomware has recruited law enforcement agencies from a further 13 countries.
Since its launch, No More Ransom has recruited new members in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Colombia, France, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Additional law enforcement agencies and private sector organizations are expected to join the program in the coming months.
This collaboration will result in more free decryption tools becoming available, help for even more victims to decrypt their devices and unlock their information, and damaging the cybercriminals where it hurts the most: their wallets.
No More Ransom was launched on July 25, 2016, by Kaspersky Lab, the Dutch National Police, Europol, and Intel Security, introducing a new level of cooperation between law enforcement and the private sector to fight ransomware1together. The aim of the online portal is to provide a helpful resource for victims of ransomware. People can find information on what ransomware is, how it works and, most importantly, how to protect themselves.
During the first two months, more than 2,500 people have successfully managed to decrypt their data without having to pay the criminals, using the main decryption tools on the platform (CoinVault, WildFire and Shade). This has deprived cybercriminals of an estimated $1+ million in ransoms.
Currently, five decryption tools are available on the online portal. Since its launch in July, the WildfireDecryptor has been added and two decryption tools updated: RannohDecryptor (updated with a decryptor for the ransomware MarsJoke aka Polyglot) and RakhniDecryptor (updated with Chimera).
“The fight against ransomware succeeds best when law enforcement agencies and the private sector join forces,” said Jornt van der Wiel, Security Researcher at the Global Research and Analysis Team at Kaspersky Lab. “Information-sharing is the key to effective collaboration between the police and security researchers. The easier and faster it happens – the more effective the partnership becomes. Getting more law enforcement agencies from different countries on board will therefore improve operational information-sharing, so that in the end ransomware will be fought more successfully,” he added.
“Europol is fully committed to supporting the enlargement of the No More Ransom project within the EU and internationally to respond to ransomware in an effective and concerted manner,” says Steven Wilson, head of the European Cybercrime Centre. “Despite the increasing challenges, the initiative has demonstrated that a coordinated approach by EU law enforcement that includes all relevant partners can result in significant successes in fighting this type of crime, focusing on the important areas of prevention and awareness. I am confident that the online portal will continue to improve in the months to come. All police forces are warmly encouraged to join the fight.”
In order to broaden the audience and improve results even further, the portal is currently being adapted to support different language versions. As a second step, the project will welcome new companies from the private sector as well, after a very high level of interest and countless requests received.