Good Cyber Story
Dominant Genes: Societal Awareness, Partnerships, Multi-Stakeholder Participation
DNA sequence Info

No More Ransom

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The challenge

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Ransomware is a type of malware that prevents or limits users from accessing their systems or devices, and asks victims to pay a ransom through specific online payment methods to regain control of their data. Globally, ransomware now causes several billion euros of economic damage every year, affecting millions of users and entities in the public and private sector, according to compiled data from Coveware. It can encrypt personal files, folders, and web servers, target mobile devices and hard drives, and disrupt systems and operations in companies, public services or critical entities like healthcare. 

As economies and societies have increased their reliance on digital services and struggled with the challenges of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the average ransom demand has grown by more than 80 percent.  As such, ransomware is a top priority threat encountered by cyber investigators across the EU, and according to Europol's own Internet Organised Crime Threat Assessment (IOCTA), it remains one of the, if not the, most dominant global threats, especially for public and private organisations within as well as outside Europe.

A response

Ransomware is a complex and transnational challenge, and law enforcement and IT Security companies have joined forces to disrupt cybercriminal businesses with malware connections.

The “No More Ransom” website is an initiative by the National High Tech Crime Unit of the Netherlands’ police, Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre, Kaspersky and McAfee with the goal to help victims of ransomware retrieve their encrypted data without having to pay the criminals.

Through, the project aims to:

a) assist victims in the recovery of their encrypted files;
b) raise awareness of ransomware threat in the public arena;
c)provide direct links to the national police agencies of the EU Member States and beyond to encourage citizens to report the attacks.

Since it is much easier to avoid the threat than to fight against it once the system is affected, the project also aims to educate users about how ransomware works and what countermeasures can be taken to effectively prevent infection.

The Impact

Over the course of 5 years, the project has grown to more than 160 partners, 37 languages and 120 tools, capable of decrypting almost 151 ransomware families.

The tools have helped more than 4.3M people decrypt their files free of charge, with an estimated profit of $600 million prevented from going to criminals pockets.

NMR showcases the value of public-private cooperation in disrupting criminal businesses with ransomware connections. Victims should no longer be forced to either pay a ransom or lose their files. By restoring access to their infected systems free of charge, NMR provides users with a third choice they did not have before.

Initially launched in English, NMR is available in 36 other languages: Arabic, Bulgarian, Simplified Chinese, Traditional Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Malay, Norwegian, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Slovenian, Slovak, Swedish, Tamil, Thai and Ukrainian.

The initiative is open to public and private parties, and the more parties supporting the No More Ransom project, the better the results can be. Visit to learn more.
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Project DNA

Which aspects of this project have contributed to its success? And which, according to the implementing organisations, might play an important role in launching similar initiatives in other parts of the world? The project DNA profiling on the basis of the Good Cyber Stories framework highlighted the importance of three success genes in particular:

A - Societal Awareness

Societal Awareness

P - Partnerships


M - Multi-Stakeholder Participation

Multi-stakeholder Participation

No More Ransom

Project DNA

Multi-Stakeholder Participation
Local Ownership
Organisational Capacity
Transparency and Accountability
Legal and Institutional Framework
Political Importance
Societal Awareness

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