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Ransomware is software that blocks users having access to their computer system until a sum of money is paid. Ransomware helps to facilitate the evolution of cybercrime as it often funds more advanced types of cyber-crime software that can also be sold on to other cyber-criminals… Allowing for more cyber-attacks to happen.

The advice has been and still remains “do not pay the ransom”, if you do fall victim to hackers – by people paying the ransom they continue to fuel a vicious cybercrime circle. Even though people do pay, there is also no guarantee that people will regain access to their computer system.

Ransomware – an easy way criminals make money

By having victims only pay using bitcoins as one example, the money trail can be hard to follow for authorities, helping criminals to be able to continue to make a profit through ransomware and get away with it.

It has been estimated that more ransomware attacks increased from 131,000 to 781,000 between 2014 and 2015.

But have we finally now found a solution?

No More Ransom???

In order to help combat ransomware, the Netherlands police National High Tech Crime Unit, Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre, and cybersecurity firms Kaspersky and Intel Security, have created NoMoreRansom.org in order to help combat ransomware.

The site offers decryption tools to help those who fall victim to ransomware attacks. By uploading samples of encrypted files to the site to see if a ransomware variant can be decrypted. Plus victims of ransomware can report infections to authorities which can help in tracing and finding those who use the ransomware software.

Both public and private organisations are able to join and it is helping people in both the United States and in Europe.

The work continues

Work continues in order to find new ways to defend victims from ransomware. While NoMoreRansoom.org is offering free decryption tools, it is unlikely that this will be the ultimate solutions of being able to combat malware.

There is no quick and easy fix because technology is becoming more sophisticated, and almost impossible to defeat at times; although some ransomware developers have had coding errors that have made it possible for security to decrypt the system.

For now, education is one of the best ways in order to protect yourself from ransomware. In order to help prevent an attack you could back up files on to external hard drives as well as maintaining high security levels on your computer at all times, and make sure you keep your computer software up-to-date.

IMPORTANT: advice on this page is intended to be up-to-date for the 'first published date'.

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First published by Editor on August 02, 2016
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