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Europol Empowers Victims with Tools to Fend Off Ransomware Attacks

Shine Li   Jul 28, 2020 10:36 2 Min Read

Europol, European Union’s law enforcement agency, has put together an anti-ransomware initiative that has managed to intercept $630 million dollars and more in ransomware demands, since 2016.  

“No More Ransom” Demands 

The free scheme that they created, dubbed “No More Ransom,” is a decryption tool repository that helps victims combat cryptocurrency theft and ransomware attacks.  

Now hitting their fourth-year anniversary, the repository has much to celebrate. Not only has it managed to salvage $632 million dollars in ransom demands, but it has also generated mass traction in 188 countries. The repository currently boasts of over 4.2 million visitors and has added 28 new tools ever since. The compilation of tools can be attributed to 162 partners, who have worked together to offer ransomware prevention.  

Bitcoin Mixer Wallet Investigated By Europol 

With the increase of dark web trafficking and malicious ransom activities online, Europol has been working extra hard to track down hackers and put an end to cybercrime. Recently, in June, the law enforcement agency put a Bitcoin mixer Wasabi wallet on its radar because the malicious site address was promoting dark web transactions.  

What Is Wasabi? 

Wasabi is a light wallet that used a protocol dubbed “coinjoin” to mix Bitcoins. With coinjoin, the Wasabi wallet can merge different transactions originating from non-related users into one transaction. In a two-part report, Europol indicated that this Bitcoin mixing scheme had generated an influx of dark web transactions.  

The investigation is still ongoing and Europol is still working on cracking down on the dark web scam artists. 

Guide 101 to Preventing Ransomware Attacks

In order to fend off future ransomware attacks, Europol suggests some preventative guidelines that one can adopt when surfing the web. For example, a user should always keep a copy of their most important files backed up somewhere, whether it be in a cloud, on another offline drive, on a memory stick, or on another computer. Also, the law enforcement agency wrote on its website: 

 

“Use reliable and up-to-date anti-virus software, do not download programs from suspicious sources, do not open attachments in e-mails from unknown senders, even if they look important and credible, and finally, if you are a victim, do not pay the ransom!” 


Image source: Shutterstock

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