Ransomware as a Service

If you’re familiar with cyber attacks, you’re probably familiar with ransomware, a form of malware designed to deny access to a computer system and encrypt sensitive data until a “ransom” is paid. Ransomware has its origins in the early stages of the cyber world, and over time, its effects have only gotten more vicious.

But what you may not know is that in the past few years, hackers have started offering Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS) in an attempt to capitalize off their advancements. So what exactly is RaaS? And how, for the near future and onwards, can you protect your systems against it?

Stay Informed

The RaaS model borrows from a service known appropriately as Software-as-a-Service, a subscription-based software distribution model and one of the three main categories of cloud computing. Google Apps, Dropbox, and BigCommerce are all examples of SaaS.

On the other hand, RaaS offers malware in packages, available to even the most novice of cybercriminals. With an increasing saturation of RaaS platforms in the market, the need to code malware individually is decreasing, which results in a higher quantity of attacks by individuals without much technical knowledge of ransomware. Instead, anyone can become an “affiliate” of an RaaS service.

Using the RaaS model, cybercriminals who write ransomware code can sell or rent it to other cybercriminals with the intent to launch an attack. Along with the code, they provide step-by-step information on how to launch a ransomware attack with the service. There’s plenty of incentive to do so: if the attack succeeds, the ransom money is divided between the provider, coder, and attacker.

RaaS has become such a popular service that providers actually put out advertisements on the dark web. And for a cybercriminal anywhere in the process, its benefits are clear; ransomware authors are able to earn quick money, while affiliates worry less about writing malicious code. The model is streamlined, effective, and—most importantly—a prominent threat for you and your organization to consider.

Striking Back

Whether they decide to use RaaS, their own ransomware, or another form of malicious code, cybercriminals won’t falter when it comes to going after your most sensitive data. You can combat their efforts by consistently backing up your data, keeping your system’s software up to date, and avoiding suspicious links and attachments, but you still need to know where your vulnerabilities lie.

With our Red Team Assessment, you’ll be sure to know your systems better than any attacker. Our evaluation tests your defenses against a variety of different real-world strategies, such as:

  • Penetration Testing (internal and external)
  • Social Engineering/Phishing Attacks (by phone, email, and in-person; we take this to the next level by attempting an actual breach of your network)
  • Physical Access (perimeter sweep, building access, secure interior room access)
  • Black Box (planting rogue remote-access devices in the production network)
  • Secure Document Disposal (secure/common waste disposal, dumpster inspection)
  • Wireless (forged authentication, encryption testing, device spoofing)

To ensure the security of your organization with quality, effective solutions, contact us today.

Posted in BAI Security Blog, Security Risks.