2021 Has been an interesting year for Ransomware attacks so far. After plaguing countless victims with dreaded ransom notes and bringing the US Colonial Pipeline and other large corporations to their knees, the Ransomware attack method has built a strong reputation for inflicting cyber terror on consumers and businesses alike.
As cyber criminals noticed increasing success from this method, the trends shifted towards more targeted enterprise attacks with potentially more lucrative payouts. Furthermore, criminals saw the growing demands for these attacks on the Dark Web as a business opportunity to make attack kits more easily accessible. This new realm of service would essentially remove the burden of coding and crafting attacks from the criminals, thus reducing the difficulty of launching these types of attacks. What once required tons of planning and preparation could now be purchased as a subscription or service.
What is Ransomware?
Also termed digital extortion, Ransomware is a form of cyberattack in which criminals block access to prized digital possessions or resources and demand payment for their release. There are many variations of ransomware attacks, but the common goal is usually to extort companies or users for money. For example, an attacker may encrypt all of your data and ask for payment in exchange for the decryption key. Without the key, your operations could end up being crippled.
One of the biggest trends in technology over the last decade has been the growth of subscription-based service models and products. Examples include Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS, Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), and more. Instead of building software or installing software directly in corporate environments, these companies are providing customers with the ability to effectively rent access to the services they need without dealing with development, maintenance, and additional back-end work. Given the high demand for Ransomware in this day and age, creative cyber-criminal entrepreneurs followed this tech industry trend and created Ransomware as a service (RaaS) to ease the burden of cyber attackers having to develop their own attacks.
Using these services, cybercriminals can launch advanced Ransomware attacks using RaaS providers from the Dark Web.
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