Ransomware is a type of malware that extorts money from the target victim by infecting and taking control of the victim’s systems or secured documents stored in the system. Ransomware attacks either locks the computer from normal use or encrypts the documents using a key available with the attacker only. ‘Ransomware as a Service’ is a kind of ‘Software as a Service’ provided by tech vendor. RaaS can also be defined as a ransomware infrastructure that is rented to hackers on dark web. It is an easy platform for novice hackers (with zero to low knowledge of coding malware) to access ransomware attacks and implant these ransomwares on victim’s machines for claiming extortion money.
How Does RaaS Function?
Here is a simple map of events to explain the functioning of RaaS model:
- A deceitful vendor offers a tool containing Ransomware on Dark web
- The package contains all the software and related files needed for a successful ransomware attack
- Hackers and malicious actors purchase this tool package
- They use the tools for attacking a victim’s system or network to get hold of computer files and information
- Depending upon the type of ransomware, it may either lock or encrypt the files
- The hackers now demand financial ransom in exchange of returning data access to the victim
Similar to other ‘Software as a Service’ models, RaaS involves user services such as provision of desktop, infrastructure, ERP, customer relationship management or other digital services. The buyers of RaaS have the option to order up the capability of the ransomware for launching a more severe attack.
Some important points to note include:
- RaaS users take deliberate steps to conceal their identity and take deliberate steps to make their actions hard to track. A common practice is to demand payments in digital currency as it is comparatively difficult to trace.
- Once the victim makes the ransom payment, it is not guaranteed that the hacker will provide the decryption key to the victim. Also, making the ransom payment does not ensure that the hacker will not leak any files or documents.
What Measures Can Be Taken To Combat RaaS Attacks?
Organizations need to take following measures to secure themselves against RaaS attacks:
- Employees are the most vulnerable entry point but they may be used as first line of defense, if properly educated. Regularly educate them on the latest ransomware attacks and cyber security practices they should employ.
- Secure the system and network by continuously auditing for any vulnerability. Also, regularly update the cyber security tools for latest versions.
- Maintain a backup of all the files at a location from where they can be easily retrieved. This helps the business to keep functioning even if the systems are attacked.
For more information on understanding the concept of ‘Ransomware as a Service’, contact Centex Technologies at (254) 213 – 4740.