Monday, April 17, 2017

Romanian Police Join Forces With Domestic Internet Security Company To Fight Cybercrime

The Romanian police collaborate with internet security company BitDefender to fight cybercrime on a global scale.

According to a press release published by the General Inspectorate of the Romanian Police (IGPR – Romania’s police force), they are joining forces with domestic internet security company BitDefender to fight cybercrime globally.

Bitdefender is an internet security software company based in Romania, represented through subsidiaries and partners in over 100 countries. The firm has been developing online protection since 2001. In September 2014, the company claimed to have its technologies installed in around 500 million home and corporate devices across the world. Their products include antivirus and antispyware capabilities against internet security threats such as viruses, Trojans, rootkits, rogues, “aggressive adware,” spam and others, and that their applications including web protection, cloud antispam, firewall, a vulnerability scanner, parental controls, file encryption, device anti-theft and backup for corporate and home users.

The IGPR and BitDefender had been already working together against ransomware attacks. The security firm and Romanian law enforcement authorities successfully published a tool to decrypt data of the now compromised Bart ransomware. The clues that led to the software’s creation were discovered by cops specialized in cybercrime during investigations conducted under the direction of prosecutors and the Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT), the press release reported. The decryption tool can be found on www.nomoreransom.org, along with other 39 anti-ransomware solutions, which were made freely available to the public. Romanian police and BitDefender created the Bart ransomware decryption tool and published it freely for victims to recover their data without paying the demanded ransom requested by the cybercriminals.

The No More Ransom project was launched in July 2016 in order to increase collaboration between the public and private sectors in the fight against ransomware. So far, the site list about 40 tools available to the public that ransomware victims can use to recover their compromised data, 15 of which were added on April 4, 2017.

“This project fighting ransomware type threats lead to a new level cooperation between the public and private sectors in the fight against cybercrime, new partners worldwide joining this initiative. Through the joint efforts of all partners are offered the chance of a growing number of casualties to recover compromised data, free of charge,” the press release described the No More Ransom project.

According to the Romanian authorities, from December 2016 until now, over 10,000 people were able to decrypt their files ransomware had compromised by using the tools provided on www.nomoreransom.org.

“The ‘No More Ransom’ website is an initiative by the National High Tech Crime Unit of the Netherlands’ police, Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre and two cyber security companies – Kaspersky Lab and Intel Security – with the goal to help victims of ransomware retrieve their encrypted data without having to pay the criminals. 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 more parties supporting this project the better the results can be. This initiative is open to other public and private parties,” the No More Ransom project described its activities on its website.

According to the press release, the whole project is evolving, like the fight against cybercrime, as there will be more tools added to the website for victims to successfully decrypt ransomware locks. The Romanian police advise those who can’t find the platform solution to decrypt their files at the moment, to check back later since the database is updated as soon as new solutions are discovered in recovering compromise files. Users are advised to keep copies of important data, use security solutions and avoid accessing links or files from unsolicited e-mails.

The new partnership was formed between the IGPR and BitDefender recently. The initiative of the cooperation protocol is to track down “websites hidden by traditional search engines used by criminals”, the press release says. According to Romanian authorities, the main focus is to eliminate activities such as trafficking of weapons and drugs, terrorism, and the “distribution of the malware phenomena evolving on the international black market” fueled by the dark web.

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