Cybersecurity is a top concern for businesses and individuals alike in the digital era. No company or person wants any of their sensitive data stolen by malicious hackers. Cybersecurity attacks are on the rise and can be costly for companies, customers, and individuals.
Cybercriminals will use whatever resources they can to launch cyberattacks. Reports of hackers leveraging artificial intelligence (AI)
Below is more about ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS), how it started, how it works, common RaaS kits, and tips to prevent experiencing a ransomware attack.
First and foremost, it's critical to understand what ransomware is before learning about ransomware-as-a-service.
Ransomware is a type of malware that invades a user's device and encrypts data. Encryption is a process that scrambles data until a
Ransomware attacks are typically executed
An emerging business model in the cybercriminal community is ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS). Rather than threat actors creating their own ransomware to execute an attack, they'll sell it on the Dark Web using the software-as-a-service (SaaS) model.
In other words, RaaS is a subscription-based model that allows malicious users to use existing ransomware tools. The actor responsible for creating the tool
RaaS is a variation of SaaS business models, the difference being that the "software" is used for malicious attacks.
Ransomware has evolved in recent years. What started as basic denial-of-data attacks on small companies quickly transformed into more sophisticated attacks targeting large corporations with more financial resources and highly sensitive information. For example, health care companies, financial services organizations, and government agencies are some industries often targeted by malicious actors.
Eventually, cybercriminals realized that instead of creating their own malware and executing attacks, they could market their ransomware tools to other threat actors for profit.
Criminals who lack knowledge of ransomware creation and development now benefit from RaaS because these ransomware tools are so easily accessible. As
There are a few steps involved in the RaaS business model:
Most RaaS arrangements fall into one of the following categories:
RaaS operators need to be highly skilled to create expertly coded ransomware to appear attractive to potential affiliates. A reputable RaaS developer will have a high chance of attack success and a low probability of discovery. Some RaaS models do not require affiliates to pay, and affiliates can sign up on a commission basis.
RaaS will market to affiliates on the Dark Web and, sometimes, even provide the affiliate with a dashboard so they can monitor whether any of their attacks succeed. It's also common for ransomware gangs,
Here are some examples of popular RaaS kits:
While this is a shortlist, more RaaS kits are emerging and more malicious actors want to get in on the action.
As a result of the increasing number of attacks originating from RaaS, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) created the Ransomware and Digital Extortion Task Force in 2021.
The ultimate goal of this task force is to use the DOJ's authority and resources to respond to these cybersecurity concerns and bring cybercriminals to justice. An article from The Verge details some recent and impressive
The majority of ransomware victims would agree that choosing whether to pay the ransom or not is a challenging decision to make. Experts argue that paying a ransom encourages this type of malicious behavior. In contrast, others suggest paying ransoms to prevent data leaks, protect clients, or return to normal operations.
It is worth noting that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
Below are some important tips for RaaS attack prevention:
Companies should consider using the suggestions above to protect their digital assets. With more RaaS models emerging, it's expected that ransomware attacks will grow more frequent and sophisticated.
Many organizations understand that cybersecurity is no walk in the park. However, it must be a top priority for all companies, regardless of industry.
While ransomware is not a new threat, RaaS models are. RaaS is causing the cybersecurity threat landscape to expand. Use the best cybersecurity practices, educate and train employees, and ensure strong security measures are in place to prevent ransomware attacks.