Ransomware-as-a-Service

Compliance Challenges and Unrealistic Budgets
March 10, 2020
Bounty Programs
March 10, 2020

Ransomware-as-a-Service

Last year, ransomware devastated companies and even entire cities.

Last year, ransomware devastated companies and even entire cities. Entertainment and news media organizations could be next.

In a ransomware attack, hackers deploy malicious tools to hijack data, effectively locking administrators and users out of systems and devices, until a fee is paid.

Since cash and online bank transfers are easy to track, the currency of choice is now bitcoin, which is transferred through an encrypted system and can’t be traced. The emergence of the blockchain and cryptocurrencies have transformed ransomware into a lucrative business.

In the spring of 2019, Baltimore became the latest city to have some of its critical services held for ransom. Since it hadn’t prepared in advance for such a scenario, it took several months for the systems to come back online. Residents couldn’t pay water bills for months, email their city representatives, or schedule trash pickups, among other things.

Ransomware attacks target mostly cities, financial services and healthcare organizations because their data and services are so valuable. Simply backing up your organization’s data probably won’t be enough of a failsafe going forward. Researchers have already found “doxware” floating around the internet—in those cases hackers, rather than simply holding your data hostage until you pay up, threaten to publish it to the web for everyone to see.