The Ransomware Economy in a Nutshell: Small Investments, Huge Profits

2017 was a year of increasing menace for ransomware, its first real breakthrough year found it on the front-pages of mainstream media as well as highbrow IT publications. The rapid ascension of WannaCry, GoldenEye, NotPetya led to heightened apprehension and vigilance from IT managers and business owners across the planet.

Its sudden prominence is a mouthwatering proposition to cybercriminals – it has managed to develop its own economy: low barrier to entry, small investment, high rewards and even its own business model. A sophisticated network complete with supply-chains, creators, distributors, marketplaces, DIY kits, affiliate contracts, adverts and some would argue its own currency.

Studies have shown that that ransomware has seen a 2500% rise since 2016, with over 6300 marketplaces and nearly 45000 product listings. The total market value estimates have totaled out at almost $1 Billion.

Ransomware: The Business Model

The rise of ransomware is hinged on fairly simple business principles; notably supply meeting demand, low barrier to entry, low capital investment, easy scalability and a large market to target.

The world’s environment was rife for a cyber threat like ransomware; much of its rise comes down to advancing technology and sheer opportunity. We now live in an increasingly online world, our phones and laptops hold some of our most sensitive and personal information, likewise, businesses often hold their entire businesses on servers with no backups. Everyone is now a mark, exacerbated often by lax security and poor employee training.

The days of ransomware and viruses being only for sophisticated hackers are long gone. Ransomware-as-a-Service has seen to this; RaaS is a completely turnkey solution enabling anyone to participate in these illicit activities, with no coding experience or technical skills, if you can navigate the dark (Read more...)

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from How to, Technology and PC Security Forum authored by Sean Allen (Guest Blogger). Read the original post at: