The F.B.I. should follow the example of European law enforcement and help victims of ransomware decrypt their data.
By Josephine Wolff
In July, Europol celebrated the third anniversary of its No More Ransom initiative, announcing that the public-private partnership had helped more than 200,000 ransomware victims recover their files using its library of freely available online tools instead of giving in to hackers' demands to pay a cryptocurrency ransom. All told, the recovered files saved victims some $108 million in ransom, according to Europol, the European Union's police agency.
The No More Ransom tools are available to everyone, not just those in the European Union. People from 188 countries have visited the project's website in three years, with nearly 10 percent of that traffic coming from the United States, according to data collected by the European Cybercrime Center. But here in the United States, where ransomware is on the rise and increasingly targeting both local governments and private companies, law enforcement has been strangely quiet about promoting alternatives to ransom payment.