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Malwarebytes launches new feature that stays one step ahead of ransomware

As ransomware becomes more prevalent, security software companies are racing to market with the latest solutions. Malwarebytes is the latest to throw its hat into the ring with new anti-ransomware functions for its Endpoint Security platform, which the company claims can block new, unknown forms of ransomware before they infect a system.

Malwarebytes says its new features block ransomware threats in real time, using “proprietary behavioral technology” to detect and remedy a virus before it encrypts any files. The features were launched in beta earlier this year for 200,000 businesses and consumers and will now be released generally.

“Traditional security offerings rely on obsolete techniques or a collection of repurposed technologies that were not originally built to combat ransomware,” said Nathan Scott, technical project manager at Malwarebytes. The threat of ransomware needs fresh new techniques and remedies, he added.

“We built these new capabilities from the ground-up because we know that ransomware is one of the most dangerous cyberthreats. Before now, businesses had no purpose-built ransomware protection available to them.”

Related: No More Ransom: Europol launches advice site for victims of ransomware

Ransomware threats have ballooned over the last year. As part of its research into releasing this new product, Malwarebyes also published a report that stated 40 percent of 540 companies that were surveyed in the U.S., Canada, U.K. and Germany have been hit by ransomware in one way or another.

Security companies have been trying to offer decryption services for ransomware victims, but the solutions don’t tend to last too long. Kaspersky Lab released a tool that decrypts CryptXXX but just a month later, the ransomware’s authors had updated it, making the decryption tool void.

Most recently EU police authority Europol teamed up with Intel Security and Kaspersky Lab to issue free decryption keys, but as strains of ransomware are constantly evolving, sooner or later these keys will become invalid.

This game of cat and mouse, and the successful cybercriminal business model that ransomware has created, has also led to cybergangs attempting to scupper each other’s ransomware viruses by releasing decryption keys for their rivals’ malware.