One year ago, on 25 July 2016, the No More Ransom initiative was launched by the Dutch National Police, Europol, McAfee and Kaspersky Lab. Today there are more than 100 partners, as major ransomware attacks continue to dominate the news, hitting businesses, governments and individuals all over the world.
The threat of ransomware is escalating
The number of ransomware incidents has soared since 2012, with criminals lured by the promise of profit and ease of implementation. The threat continues to evolve, becoming stealthier and more destructive, increasingly targeting businesses more than individuals because the potential returns are much higher.
The indiscriminate WannaCry attack in mid-May claimed more than 300,000 business victims across 150 countries in its first few days, crippling critical infrastructure and businesses. Some organizations are still struggling to recover from ExPetya attacks of 27 June.
According to Kaspersky Lab’s ransomware report published last month, the total number of users who encountered ransomware between April 2016 and March 2017 rose by 11.4 per cent compared to the previous 12 months, from 2,315,931 to 2,581,026 users around the world.
No More Ransom’s first year in numbers
The site now carries 54 decryption tools, provided by nine partners and covering 104 kinds (families) of ransomware. So far, these tools have managed to decrypt more than 28,000 devices, depriving cybercriminals of an estimated £6.5 million in ransoms.
The portal has counted over 1.3 million unique visitors. On 14 May alone, during the WannaCry crisis, 150,000 people visited the website.
The No More Ransom platform is now available in 26 languages, with the most recent additions Bulgarian, Chinese, Czech, Greek, Hungarian, Indonesian, Malay, Norwegian, Romanian, Swedish, Tamil and Thai.
More than 100 partners: no boundaries between private, public or competitors
No More Ransom now boasts 109 partners. The most recent additions include, from the private sector: Abelssoft, Ascora GmbH, Barclays, Bitsight, Bournemouth University (BU), CERT.BE, Claranet, CSA Singapore, ESTSecurity, Fortinet, Global Forum on Cyber Expertise (GFCE), InterWorks, IPA, KISA (Korean Internet & Security Agency), TWCERT/CC, LLC, University of Porto and vpnMentor. Four new law enforcement agencies have also joined from Czech Republic, Greece, Hong Kong and Iran.
The success of the No More Ransom initiative is a shared success, one that cannot be achieved by law enforcement or private industry alone. By joining forces, we enhance our ability to take on the criminals and stop them from harming people, businesses and critical infrastructure, once and for all.
No better cure than prevention
Law enforcement globally, in close cooperation with private partners, has ongoing investigations into ransomware criminals and infrastructure. However, prevention is no doubt better than cure. Internet users need to avoid becoming a victim in the first place. Many up to date prevention tips are available on www.nomoreransom.org. If you do become a victim, it is important not to pay the ransom and report your infection to the police.