No More Ransom has blocked over $100m in ransomware demands

(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/Martial Red)

No More Ransom, a project which aggregates decryption keys for as many ransomware variants as possible, saved its victims more than $100 million in paid ransom, Europol is claiming.

The international law enforcement agency, which backed the project, says that the decryption tool for the notorious GandCrab ransomware alone prevented people from paying almost $50 million in ransom.

Three years after its inception, the project now hosts 82 tools, capable of decrypting 109 different ransomware variants, it was said.

But it wasn’t Europol alone that made this project a reality. A number of cybersecurity firms teamed up, including Avast, Bitdefender and Emsisoft, with the latter providing 32 decryption tools for 32 different ransomware.

National police agencies, CERTs and online communities were also in on the action.

"We're pretty proud of releasing the decryptor for MegaLocker, as not only did it help thousands of victims, but it really riled up the malware author," Michael Gillespie, researcher at Emsisoft, told ZDNet. "We also have a couple of decryption tools in the pipeline for strains that have claimed a huge number of victims and, in one of those cases, we'll be doing the decryption in a way that's never been done before," Gillespie said.

Europol says that more than a million people, from 188 countries across the globe, visited the website since it was launched, a fifth of which (200,000) downloaded a tool.