A new alliance of law enforcement agencies and private sector cyber security companies has launched an initiative to tackle the growing threat of ransomware.
Europol, the Dutch National Police, Intel Security and Kaspersky Lab launched the online portal, No More Ransom, which aims to inform members of the public about ransomware and help them recover data without having to pay ransoms.
The portal provides information on what ransomware is and how to protect against it.
It also provides tools that the creators of the site say might be able to decrypt against some types of malware encryption. There are over 160,000 keys on the site.
However, they stress that no decryption tools exist for all types of malware.
The launch comes after a breakthrough was achieved when the command and control server used by criminals operating the Shade ransomware was seized and the decryption keys were shared with Kaspersky and Intel Security. These companies were able to create a tool which ransomware victims can download from the portal.
Ransomware is malware that encrypts files on a victim's device or locks the device itself, then forces them to pay a ransom to the attacker to gain access.
It has been on the rise. A June Kaspersky report found that the number of users attacked with mobile ransomware has increased almost four-fold: from 35,413 users in 2014-2015, to 136,532 users in 2015-2016.
Wil van Gemert, Europol Deputy Director Operations, said: "Initiatives like the No More Ransom project show that linking expertise and joining forces is the way to go in the successful fight against cybercrime.
“We expect to help many people to recover control over their files, while raising awareness and educating the population on how to maintain their devices clean from malware."
The companies hope that more partners will join the initiative in future.