No More Ransom: A New Coalition Against Ransomware Cybercrime

By on Oct 17, 2016

When it comes to rights, we can’t overlook digital ones. Who in the 21st century doesn’t have a life intertwined with tech-driven services? Beyond social media, critical services like banking and medical care are accessed through browsers and applications. With so much at stake, partnerships between governments and companies are essential in the fight against cybercriminals.

Take the No More Ransom project as an example of success in this arena.

In the midst of today’s hectic cyber environment, the joint effort provides a breath of fresh air. As cyber crooks have increased their use of ransomware, we’ve seen more and more headlines on the threat. Even entire hospitals have been seized to a halt at its hands. Because ransomware is under-handed technology that blocks users from accessing data, criminals have used it to demand payment. That’s been a profitable venture for them—until recently. Free decryption tools, provided by the No More Ransom coalition, have kept €1.35 million out of their pockets.

It all started when European government agencies and cybersecurity firms decided to work together. The Dutch National Police and Europol found common ground with Kaspersky Lab and us at McAfee. After all, we have the same job: keeping people safe. And now the group effort continues to expand, with No More Ransom having just added law enforcement partners from 13 countries.

So whether companies holding your data are under siege, or you find your devices locked, now free tools can unshackle you from perpetrator’s chains. After all, any time that cybercriminals are foiled, it’s a win for the good guys, and especially end users.

To keep yourself safe from ransomware, use these tips:

  • Start with prevention: beware of drive-by downloads and phishing. Cybercriminals will find stealthy and devious ways to slip malware onto your devices. Pop-up ads, emails disguised as coming from reputable sources, and other tactics are all common. So be careful before clicking on any links or downloading anything that appears suspicious. You can also install a comprehensive anti-virus solution, like McAfee LiveSafe, to ensure your security across all devices.
  • Back up, and then back up some more. In the event that ransomware infiltrates your device, life shouldn’t come to a pause. Any important files such as excel sheets with financial data or files with personal records should be backed up before a disaster should hit. Either a cloud service or an external hard-drive will do, but just be sure to avoid insecure USB connections or cloud providers in the process.
  • Use decryption tools. No More Ransom has a suite of tools to free your data, each tailored for a specific type of ransomware. If your device gets held for ransom, start by researching what type of ransomware it is. Then check out No More Ransom’s decryption tools and select the right one to help you retrieve your information.

And, of course, stay on top of the latest consumer and mobile security threats by following me and @McAfee_Home on Twitter, and ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

gary

About the Author

Gary Davis

Gary Davis was previously McAfee's Consumer Security Evangelist providing security education and advice to businesses and consumers. He is a sought-after speaker on trends in digital security, appearing at conferences and events, as well as security and consumer lifestyle broadcast outlets and publications such as ABC, NBC, FOX, the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Money ...

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