Beat ransomware without losing a paisa

By Balamurugan Selvaraj Published on Apr 11, 2017 03:01 PM IST

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Here comes good news for all security researchers and Internet users. In recent times, malware attacks have increased a lot, especially, ransomware that made entrepreneurs pay huge amounts as ransom to hackers. Around the globe, it created chaos among online users regarding their data security.

The ransomware attack on the day before US President Trump’s inauguration vitiated the atmosphere in White House and sounded the cyber alarm. Besides these types of attacks, the common one is malware, which is obviously ransomware - a dangerous threat. It is designed and developed to encrypt and lock down the files of the targeted computer, demanding a huge ransom to unlock it. And the most cruel thing is that not every time the keys are given to users, though the ransom is paid. If decryption key is not entered at the stipulated time, encrypted files will get permanently erased and it cannot be recovered. Because of this, many have lost their credential files. Mostly, 80 per cent of the attacks are made on luxury hotels, industries and some government agencies. Also, in recent times, Russian security researchers also released a report on how these ransomware may become life threats to humans. Earlier, there was no solution to these attacks.

Now, the solution has came with NMR - No More Ransomware. This is a project initiated and started as a website by Europol, Dutch National Police and two security agencies; Intel Security and Kaspersky Lab, in 2016. This website helps ransomware victims to recover their data without paying a single penny to cyber criminals. It provides around 15 decryption tools to unlock the files from those ransomwares. At present, 30 new organisations, including Avast, which is one of the contributors in providing free decryption tools, have joined in this initiative to rid the tech world of ransomware.

It is also welcomed by many law enforcement agencies such as Interpol. The website also educates the users on handling ransomware and ways to prevent ransomware attacks, etc. The initiators included a search tool called ‘ Crypto Sheriff’ - similar to the sheriff in cowboy movies. This web tool helps the infected user fi nd the type of ransomware and solution for it easily.