Ransomware as a Service

Ransomware as a ServiceRansomware as a Service (RaaS) is a hacking business model built on the framework created by Software as a Service (SaaS). Users do not need to be skilled in hacking or dispatching ransomware in order to use the tools and attack businesses. Many RaaS kits are built like professional tools with 24/7 support, user reviews, and forums like one would expect from professional SaaS tools.

The hacking portals may also offer a live view of the ransomware attack including total encrypted files, and total payout. The popular tools are growing in popularity on the dark web, and have some large attacks attributed to them. The ransomware group attributed with the Colonial Pipeline attack, that caused gas shortages on the east coast last year, has a RaaS branch. A different ransomware group attributed with the JBS meat processing plant attack last year, also has a RaaS service they offer on the dark web.

As large ransoms are paid, and the attack vector continues to grow, RaaS is also growing in popularity. Some RaaS tools charge a monthly fee, while others take a percentage of the ransom as a cost for using the hacking tool.

Ransomware typically starts as a phishing attack to steal business credentials. Once inside the network, the malware will disable defenses like antivirus and firewalls and look for vulnerable endpoints in order to access other parts of the network. After the entire network is mapped, the malware begins to encrypt or steal business data. RaaS opens up new vulnerabilities to business competitors or disgruntled employees.

Preventing RaaS attacks follows the same process as our Q-Stack. A serious backup practice including offline backups, processes to patch and update systems regularly, and user awareness training are all important steps in a larger security program.

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Posted by Charles Wright