Tech Me Out

Tech me out: Ransomware as a Service, a quick guide to the growing threat

The next in our blog series, ‘Tech Me Out’, aimed at demystifying and explaining some of the technologies and technical terms we encounter and use every day in the b2b tech PR world.

What is edge computing?

Ransomware is an incredibly successful method of cybercrime. With the average ransom paid reaching £137,000, it’s not surprising that it’s caught the attention of criminals wanting to cash in on the opportunity.
Ransomware as a Service (RaaS) is the next step in its professionalisation. Based off the SaaS service model, RaaS has professional developers all around the world selling its services on the dark web. Its appeal comes to criminals lacking the time or skills to develop their own ransomware.

Why is it important?

Ransomware is a form of malware which allows cybercriminals to encrypt files rendering them unusable. The criminals behind an attack demand a ransom in exchange for a decryption key. Many variations of ransomware exist but it is often distributed using email spam campaigns or through targeted attacks.

In the past few years, RaaS has become its own competitive marketplace, with vendors including customer services and even special deals in their offerings.

RaaS kits work like software licences with some kits sold as a subscription or even as a partnership with a one-off fee and a % cut of the ransom paid.

Just like professional software, a user can create an account, pay in bitcoin, customise the malware and submit a request to launch an attack.

Why should I care about it?

Ransomware is one of the biggest threats facing businesses at the moment. Since the pandemic, ransomware attacks have increased 500% and have hit some of the largest enterprises such as Colonial Pipeline and JBS Holdings – the world’s largest meat processor – showing that there are few limits preventing criminals attempting to breach a company.

Who’s talking about it?

Ransomware was already a concern but since it’s become more accessible it has shaken huge businesses and prompted warnings from the head of the NCSC, Lindey Cameron.

It has also been brought into question whether businesses should continue to pay ransomware?

Useful links:

More information about ransomware and how to defend against it:

If you are struggling with any technical jargon, or want a simple explanation for that complex tech you are working on, let us know and we will simplify it for you!

Written by Matthew Denby


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