Worried about ransomware? Things just got harder for the bad guys

Folks who are concerned by the prospect of having their files encrypted and ransomed by malware should be heartened by the fact that the ‘No More Ransom’ project just benefited from a number of additional security companies joining up, adding their expertise in the fight against cybercriminals.

Bitdefender, Check Point, Emsisoft and Trend Micro have signed up to the initiative, and will provide security experts, advice, and tools which crack open the encryption used to lock away the files of victims.

As the Register reports, more than 30 organisations (including various law enforcement agencies) are now members of the project, which boasts some 32 decryption tools, all of which tackle a variety of different strains of ransomware, helping victims get their files back without having to pay the bad guys hundreds of pounds. Emsisoft in particular has provided a bunch of new decryptor tools.

Fresh associates

Intel and Kaspersky were founding partners in the scheme, and the four security companies that just joined are associate partners.

But prevention is better than cure, of course, so the No More Ransom website offers a load of advice on avoiding getting infected in the first place – and of course reminds us that keeping backups of files is of paramount importance (in case you happen to lose them not just to ransom-demanding criminals, but simple hardware failure). There’s also an extensive ransomware Q&A on the site, which is worth a look.

As the organisation notes, the general advice on ransomware is not to pay up, because even if you do fork out, there’s no guarantee the bad guys will decrypt your files anyway.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).