Cryptocurrency ransomware meets its match in Europol initiative

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Posted on: July 28, 2020 8:33 pm EDT

Since launching four years ago, the malware repository has stopped $632 million from being stolen

All throughout this year, cryptocurrency ransomware attacks have become a trend among hackers. These groups or individuals take advantage of personal or corporate computer systems in which security flags are found so they get access and install a code that allows them to take control. In response to the increasing attacks, the Europol launched an initiative a few years ago that has started to pay off, and several hackers have found their efforts blocked due to this. The No More Ransom decryption tool repository has actually helped victims to avoid paying close to $632 million in ransom demands.

This tool has been in use for around four years now and, based on information shared by Europol, it has attracted already 4.2 million visitors since its launch. Most of those reported visitors are either victims or contributors to the repository – but also hackers who are trying to figure out a way around it. What started as just one tool has now received a contribution from 163 partners who have added more items to the ransomware unblocking tools that are available through the repository. These additions – 28 new tools so far – have allowed users to decrypt at least 140 types of ransomware.

Emsisoft, one of the main contributors, has provided 54 different tools created in its malware lab. Emsisoft threat analyst Brett Callow spoke with Cointelegraph about these tools, explaining that they are definitely helping several people and companies to recover data “without needing to pay the ransom, and that means less money in the pockets of cybercriminals.” Callow added that the “project also helps people recover data that would otherwise permanently be lost. The loss of things like wedding photos and videos of babies’ first steps is, obviously, heartbreaking for people, and being able to help them get those things back is an important part of what No More Ransom does.”