Packaged Ransomware Puts More Malware in Hackers’ Hands

March 1, 2024

Introduction

Did you know? The dark web packages and sells ransomware-as-a-service, known commonly as RaaS. The so-called “ransomware kits” include everything that the buyer needs to perpetuate an attack: from the ransomware code, ready to launch, down to the websites and forums they can use to publish stolen data.

Motivated individuals don’t have to invent malicious code if they can simply buy it readymade off the dark marketplace!

RaaS kits can sell for under a hundred dollars per month, but the price can climb well into thousands depending on the size and sophistication of each individual ransomware kit. Just like any service to which you subscribe, these kits can include round-the-clock customer support, troubleshooting and updates to keep the ransomware cutting-edge.

Bad news since ransomware is already one of the preeminent threats in this day and age.

What can you do to stay safe?

Why Ransomware-as-a-Service Thrives

With ransomware on the rise all over the world, at least some of the fault lies in how much easier it’s gotten to acquire these malicious codes. RaaS is becoming more affordable, making it easier for less skilled criminals to launch ransomware attacks. We can expect to see an increase in RaaS attacks targeting smaller businesses and organizations as these kits become even easier to access.

This democratization of cybercrime leads to a wider range of targets and more frequent attacks, making it statistically more likely that YOU will be impacted.

More and more often, these kits even come equipped with features to streamline double extortion, where in attackers not only encrypt files but also steal sensitive data and threaten to release it publicly unless the ransom is paid. This adds a layer of pressure and potential reputational damage!

Protecting Yourself from Ransomware Kits

Regular backup and storage testing is recommended because it can come in handy if you lose files for any reason, including a ransomware attack. Even if an end user has backups, however, restoring them after a ransomware attack can be a time-consuming and expensive process. Additionally, some RaaS offerings use sophisticated encryption algorithms that make data recovery extremely difficult.

Conclusion

As RaaS becomes more prevalent, attackers may feel emboldened to demand higher ransoms, knowing that even small organizations may be willing to pay to avoid disruptions and data leaks. Remember the signs of ransomware, NEVER pay the fee, and study your incident response plan so you can report the infection ASAP!

While RaaS threats are escalating, cybersecurity experts are crafting stronger tools and better best practices to keep us safe. Refreshing and practicing your security awareness training can help you stay protected every day. At the same time, remember that security researchers are constantly developing new tools and techniques for detecting and preventing ransomware attacks, which could help to mitigate the impact of RaaS in the future.

Education is the best prevention! Staying up to date on the latest threats to your systems, as well as the cybersecurity tools and resources that combat them, will prepare you for encountering threat actors in real life!

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