Woburn, MA – July 26, 2021 – Today Kaspersky announced that No More Ransom – the initiative started in 2016 by law enforcement and IT security companies to help victims of ransomware restore their files – turned five today. The anniversary is marked by more than $900 million of illegal profit prevented, and more than 6 million people downloading free encryption tools.
Ransomware is a type of malicious software that blocks access to valuable user data, usually with the help of encryption, and allows perpetrators to demand a ransom from their targets in order to get back access to blocked information. In recent years, this type of malicious software has become extremely widespread, causing huge damage to private users and organizations worldwide.
In order to help people and organizations fight against ransomware, the National High Tech Crime Unit of the Dutch National Police, Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre, Kaspersky, and McAfee agreed to jointly create a website back in 2016. Its goal was to help targets of ransomware attacks retrieve their encrypted data without having to pay the criminals. To that end, participants in the initiative would publish decryption tools on the website. These tools, once downloaded and launched, would allow victims of specific ransomware families to get their data back without paying any ransom. In addition to decryption tools, the website contains prevention advice and instructions on how to report a cybercrime in a particular country.
Since its inception, the initiative has grown from four to over 170 partners, while 121 decryption tools are now available to users. These tools help in the battle against some 150 ransomware families and, over the last five years, around six million people downloaded the decryption tools. According to No More Ransom’s experts, altogether, participants in the initiative were able to prevent criminals from illegally making more than $900 million in profit.
Kaspersky was and remains one of the founding partners who contributed to the initiative’s original five decryption tools, which helped retrieve data encrypted by 32 ransomware families. Since 2016, these tools were downloaded more than 150,000 times.
“I’m extremely happy that since the start of the project we have been able to help so many people get their files back without paying,” said Jornt van der Weil, security researcher at Kaspersky Global Research and Analysis Team. “We keep on fighting ransomware with our industry partners and law enforcement agencies from all over the world to help even more users and prevent further damage.”
To find information to help in the fight against ransomware, or to learn more about the No More Ransom initiative, please visit the initiative’s website at nomoreransom.org.