Given the popularity and success of ransomware, it is no surprise that malware authors have been developing more ransomware than ever before. Last year’s cost of ransomware attacks reached $1 billion, which not only shows how this affects businesses, but for cybercriminals the potential pay-out for cyber-extortion can be very lucrative.
The rise of ransomware infections may also be attributed to the attractiveness growing availability of Ransomware-as-a-Service (Raas). Ransomware authors posts are now developing user-friendly front ends for their malware, and posting advertisements on underground forums that promotes their ransomware product and its features. This service promises fledgling cyber criminals that they can make money through cyber-extortion without needing the expertise to create their own malware. Each offering also includes some gimmick to make their product more enticing, such as franchise-like opportunities, profit sharing, or unique features to avoid detection or increase success.
To give you a better idea of the scope of this growing problem, let’s take a look at Ransomware-as-a-Service offerings seen in hacking forums and underground markets and check their features and prices.
Price: Basic – USD 9.95(Limited use) Big – USD 49.95(Unlimited use)
Posted just this January, this ad claims that besides file encryption, this RaaS offering also has worm capabilities, which is not common for ransomware. Ransomware with this capability is more dangerous since it will result in more infected users. Hostman Ransomware also advertise that it can be customized for buyers, including the demanded ransom price, bitcoin address, targeted files, and other features.