RANSOMWARE – AS – A – SERVICE
Cloud revolutionised the IT landscape by making hardware, software and computing graduate to a level of a service. All such headache was handed over to cloud service provider. Criminals being the first adopters of technology. Taking a cue from Software-as-a-service provided on the Cloud, ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) is already making waves, sufficient enough to vitiate the Cyber Security scenario completely. It’s in the hands of novice cyber criminals.
Starting from Russia more than a decade ago, the RaaS distribution model provides easy access to a tool, to would be Cyber criminals to launch cyber extortion, with no expertise and no investment. The availability of RaaS on the Dark Net is the primary reason for the sudden increase in ransomware attacks last year. SonicWall puts it 638 million attacks in 2016, 167 times the 2015 number. 2017 figures are still to be out. Reports say that half of the businesses faced it last year. During the same period new ransomware families surged by 752%, the impact on businesses being $1 billion worldwide.
Cloud type service gets wedded to the normal franchise type model Malicious code from the portal, some configuration & you are ready for the kill. Unwitting victims fall prey. There are advertisements too, on hacking forums, offering customisations and the luring the criminals with offers to drive subscriptions. As it would have been presumed there is a proceeds sharing mechanism in place. The booty is delivered to the author’s account, who in turn delivers it to the affiliates. The affiliates get a major chunk of the booty ranging between 60 to 80 percent.
Desperate to keep the businesses running and the reputation stigma attached to it, they are coughing up. The IT security can at best be called mute spectators, their relentless efforts, from their point of view, not being able to stem the tide. The law enforcement agencies have still to fathom out this epidemic, leave aside knowing tools to handle it. A united global response is the answer.
RaaS IS AN EPIDEMIC, THE ANTIDOTE HAS TO FALL IN PLACE IMMEDIATELY.