Risks associated with ransomware as a service (RaaS)

December 14, 2022
What if starting a cybercrime was as simple as placing an internet purchase for a new t-shirt? That may now be the case as a result of “ransomware as a service.” RaaS, also known as ransomware as a service, is one of the biggest internet hazards and is far more accessible than you may imagine. Understand it and how to defend yourself.


Users may utilize pre-made ransomware tools and carry out ransomware attacks thanks to a service called RaaS, or ransomware as a service. Software as a Service (SaaS) is the good version of RaaS. It gives non-technical users the ability to lock the data of their targets and demand a ransom.

What is the process of ransomware as a service?

RaaS imitates other internet services’ business models. Tools for ransomware are developed by programmers with high success rates. After that, they alter them to work with a multiuser architecture. The program is subsequently sold to end users on the dark web via various affiliates. This makes it possible for people with little to no technical expertise to launch ransomware cyberattacks by only registering for the site and utilizing the tools.

Finding a provider that meets their needs and signing up on its website are the only steps required by hackers. They then just need to decide which kind of tool they want to utilize before making a cryptocurrency payment. The user may then start an attack, get all the instructions and documentation they need to continue, and even monitor the development of their harmful activity.

RaaS services’ availability and user friendliness might occasionally catch people off guard. Some even provide customer care, several discounts, package deals, and client testimonials. They are also reasonably priced.

Several RaaS business models are listed below:

  • A portion of the extorted funds are paid to the RaaS service providers by hostile companies who employ the program.
  • A fixed cost is charged for a subscription.
  • Cybercriminals purchase ransomware once and then use it whenever they like.
  • Depending on the system a service uses, customized or customised profit-sharing plans could be provided.

RaaS 2

Examples of ransomware as a service

One of the greatest ransomware attacks to date, the Colonial Pipeline breach, was carried out by DarkSide, one of the most infamous RaaS providers. It primarily targets Windows users, but recently it has also included Linux users. In 2021, it was particularly active.

Although Dharma has been around since 2016, it didn’t begin providing RaaS until 2020. Dharma assaults are frequently motivated by money and have been linked to Iranian cybercriminal organizations. The service is not centralizedly run, and different iterations can be found everywhere. Due to the similarity of its assaults, nothing is known about the identity of Dharma’s creator.

Another notorious RaaS provider is REvil. All into 2021, it was quite busy. It launched assaults against the American meat manufacturer JBS, the cyber insurance firm CNA, and Kaseya. REvil uses its own blog to tell victims of their assaults. They are also responsible for one of the highest reported ransom demands in recorded history: $10 million.

In its early stages, LockBit was a virus that encrypted user data. It subsequently evolved into a RaaS enterprise, nevertheless. Cybercriminals are drawn to it because of its unique capacity to instantly self-propagate to target networks.
Maze. In addition to encrypting customer data, Maze also makes public threats about doing so. In 2020, Maze was discontinued for an unspecified cause. However, those responsible for the assault most certainly also developed additional RaaS projects.

The best way to stop ransomware as a service

Here are some suggestions for avoiding or at the very least reducing RaaS damage:

  • Avoid clicking on dubious advertisements, links, or files.
  • Avoid downloading files from shady websites since doing so could lead to unpleasant shocks.
  • To avoid phishing scams and other forms of social engineering, stay vigilant and knowledgeable at all times.
  • Keep track of and verify each of your connection requests.
  • Update your program frequently.
  • Regularly backup your data to prevent losing it in the event of ransomware.
    Instead of solely using online storage, we advise employing external hard drives as well.
  • Use only top-notch security software. Check out the Threat Protection feature of the updated FreeZone VPN as well. It assists you in locating malware-infected files, prevents you from visiting dangerous websites, and immediately eliminates trackers and invasive adverts.

Do you have to pay the ransom?

There is no definitive response to this query, however the majority of law enforcement organizations advise against paying a ransom. Paying the ransom is even forbidden in some nations.