Ransomware-As-A-Service is a business model in which criminals develop malware for use by criminals. It is very similar to traditional software-as-a-service models. This is because the product/service being sold is a tool for criminal activities or unleashing ransomware.
Let’s start by asking the fundamental question: What is Ransomware? Ransomware is malware that encrypts victims’ files and folders. Although the ransom is required to secure the safe return of encrypted data, this promise is often not kept. There is a massive increase in ransomware attacks all over the globe, many of which are being fueled by RaaS.
What Is Ransomware as a Service?
The most conservative estimates show that ransomware losses totaled more than $1 billion between mid-2019 and mid-2020. In 2020, the average ransom payment was $170,404. Successful ransomware attacks can bring in enormous profits for attackers. RaaS is relatively inexpensive and easy to use.
Although it’s easy for criminals to ransomware, the development of ransomware requires technical knowledge and skills. Ransomware-as-a-Service is the answer to this problem. This is a type of software that can be downloaded online. It’s usually found on the dark web. Ransomware is created by developers and sold for widespread use.
Why is RaaS so dangerous?
Criminals can look at RaaS options and get special offers. They also can choose from different subscription plans, which makes this service extremely dangerous. RaaS offers on the dark web are similar to traditional software marketing offers.
These services can be offered in many forms, including:
- Unlimited access for a one-time charge
- Monthly subscriptions
- Developers get a cut of any successful attack or ransom.
A few models might include multiple payment options. Profit-sharing, for example, can be combined with a monthly fee or royalty.
Ransomware can be customized to suit your needs. Buyers are often given an interface where they can customize their malware. RaaS providers often allow novice criminals to access their toolkit, while others restrict the number of affiliates they work with.
Although malware developers create it, their profits often depend on the ability to distribute it. To ensure that they work only with good partners, creators have strict selection procedures.
RaaS is a grave business challenge but can also be dangerous for teenagers and students. Teens often surf the dark web and may fall prey to ransomware attacks. It is important to warn children about the dangers of dark websites, so they don’t get in trouble. Some students have shared RaaS in personal statements to universities. It’s difficult to explain, so a personal statements helper can help you write an engaging essay.
Examples of Ransomware-as-a-Service
There are many types of RaaS available on the dark web. Operators continue to develop new and improved software. These are some examples of ransomware that was spread via the RaaS model:
Egregor: Egregor is alleged to be a hacker who uses an affiliate system. Developers are paid a 20-30% ransom, and the rest goes to their affiliates.
Egregor was launched in September 2020. It is believed that it was a replacement for Maze RaaS, which closed down around the same period. Egregor has been a victim of several French organizations, including Ubisoft and Gefco, over the past year. Recent arrests in France have been made regarding the extortion and use of Egregor.
REvil: REvil RaaS developers seem very selective about who they allow as affiliates. Before being accepted, applicants must demonstrate their hacking skills. REvil’s developers have been reported to have earned $100 million over a year. This ransomware seems to target legal, insurance, and agricultural companies heavily.
REvil takes a different approach to traditional extortion. The group demands a ransom and threatens to leak data to extort victims further.
The REvil Group was responsible for the greatest buyout demand. It demanded $50 million from Acer electronics company in March 2021.
Dharma: Dharma has been around since 2017. It replaces files with the Dharma extension. Dharma’s ransom requirements are typically lower than other RaaS and average about $9,000. Researchers believe this could be because RaaS providers allow even inexperienced hackers as affiliates.
What can you do to protect yourself against RaaS?
You can take steps to protect your organization from RaaS attacks just as you did with other Ransomware attacks. When it comes to cybersecurity, prevention is better than cure.
We recommend the following steps to increase your ransomware readiness:
- Do a review of your current cybersecurity infrastructure with ransomware prevention. It is a smart idea to invest in a Ransomware Readiness Analysis.
- You must ensure that your business information is protected. This technology investment is well worth it. Cybercriminals can only do so much if they access your backup data. They can encrypt specific files and attack devices. You can also find similar tips in our Ransomware Prevention Checklist.
- Your incident response teams and staff should be trained in Ransomware Response. While at it, download Ransomware Respond Guides and Ransomware response Checklists. It would be best if you also made it a habit to run Ransomware Tabletop exercises so that your staff can practice and rehearse what is in your Incident Responder Plans. This helps build muscle memory about how to respond during a ransomware attack.
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