Official help to those hit by a Ransomware attack

Europol, the EU law enforcement agency whose goal is to help achieve a safer Europe, have worked with the National High Tech Crime Unit of the Netherlands’ police and two cyber security companies – Kaspersky Lab and Intel Security – to create the ‘No more ransom‘ website. Been infected by ransomware, then see if the site has a tool to decrypt the data.

But beware of thinking of this as a way to avoid doing anything about cyber security;  tools are only available to deal with some types of ransomware attacks. The real answer is to follow these guidelines: 

  • Don’t click links in emails, or attachments in emails that you were not expecting. They could be from that long lost cousin you didn’t know existed, or a wealthy business owner or royal in a far away country looking for help to transfer funds. But now they are more likely to be from a valid source, client or supplier and look very convincing. If you are not expecting the email, then be suspicious. Contact the sender and make sure it actually came from them
  • Be suspicious of links on social media sites where the text around the link doesn’t seem to make sense, or where there is just a link and no other text
  • Make sure you apply software updates as they are released; to the operating system and software packages, mobile apps and browser plug-ins like Flash Player and Adobe Reader
  • Keep your anti-virus and anti-malware software up-to-date
  • Backup all your data on a regular basis so if you do get hit by ransomware you can recover your data
  • Test your backups on a monthly basis to check that a) everything is being backed up and b) you can restore files. The last thing you want to find is that when you need to use the backup it is missing files, or files on the backup are corrupt. If you have outsourced your IT support, then ask the company that does your backups to send you an email every month to confirm the backups have no issues