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The “No More Ransom” initiative, announced last month, has the goal to prevent ransomware attacks and help PC users decrypt files. A recent article on Bank Infosecurity highlighted the project and its successes, including its development of a decryption tool for Shade ransomware, which has affected 160,000 computer users.

According to the project’s website, NoMoreRansom.org is a joint initiative of the National High Tech Crime Unit of the Netherlands’ police, Europol’s European Cybercrime Center, and two cyber security companies – Kaspersky Lab and Intel Security.

Ransomware Threats Increasing

According to the article, the number of ransomware victims in the past year increased by more than five-fold over the past two years – from approximately 130,000 victims from April 2014 to March 2015 to more than 700,000 victims over the same period in 2015-16.

Victims range from individuals to large corporations, and are requested to pay their ransom in bitcoins, making the funds – and the criminals – difficult to track.

If you’re a Ransomware Victim

You’ve heard it from the FBI and all the news outlets during the coverage of ransomware attacks – from individuals to healthcare companies – don’t pay the ransom! If you are ever subject to a ransomware attack, not only does paying the ransom lack a guarantee that you will regain access to your data, it funds the criminals involved in these schemes.

Fortunately, according to the article, NoMoreRansom.org is working to make free decryption tools available for a number of these ransomware. However, it notes that the day when the initiative or other security experts can offer a “one-stop shop” for all malware is unlikely.

Looking Forward

In addition to developing decryption tools for ransomware victims, the initiative has also placed an emphasis on ransomware prevention through a variety of methods, with education about the need for back-ups and antivirus software. Each cybersecurity firm involved with the project has a limited offering of free security software in addition to other offerings.

Read the full article on Bank Infosecurity, which also features an audio interview with Intel Security’s Raj Samani.