There are many different sources that have led to ransomware becoming the epidemic that it is today. Some of these sources include the evolution of malware, the proliferation of cryptocurrencies, more sophisticated attacks methods, ransomware as a service and the dark web. Each of these sources has played a role in ransomware’s widespread success. Let’s take a closer look at each one.
The Evolution of Malware
Ransomware is a type of malware that first appeared in 1989, but it didn’t become popular until late 2013, when CryptoLocker ransomware was released. This ransomware was different from previous ransomware variants because it used strong cryptography to encrypt the victim’s files. The victim was then forced to pay a ransom in order to decrypt their files. CryptoLocker was very successful, and it spawned many different ransomware variants. In fact, ransomware has become so popular that it is now the most prevalent type of malware. According to a report by Symantec, ransomware was responsible for 43 percent of all malware attacks in 2016.
The Proliferation of Cryptocurrencies
One of the reasons ransomware has become so popular is because of the proliferation of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. Bitcoin is a digital currency that can be used to purchase goods and services online. It is decentralized, meaning that it is not controlled by any government or financial institution. Bitcoin was created in 2009, and it has since become the most popular cryptocurrency. This has made it a target for ransomware developers, as they can use Bitcoin to receive ransom payments from victims. In fact, ransomware developers have been so successful at using Bitcoin that they have started to demand payment in Bitcoin rather than traditional currencies like U.S. dollars.
More Sophisticated Attack Methods
Another reason ransomware has become so successful is because of the increasing sophistication of ransomware attacks. Ransomware developers are now using more sophisticated methods to infect victim’s computers and encrypt their files. For example, ransomware can now be delivered through malicious email attachments, infected websites, and drive-by downloads. This lack of awareness and training makes people more vulnerable to ransomware attacks. In addition, it also makes it easier for ransomware developers to extort money from victims. Ransomware developers know that many people will not be able to decrypt their files without paying the ransom, so they are more likely to pay the ransom than try to decrypt their files themselves.
Ransomware as a Service (RaaS)
Also another reason ransomware has become so successful is because it is now possible to buy ransomware as a service. RaaS is a ransomware kit that allows anyone to launch ransomware attacks. The ransomware kit includes everything you need to launch a ransomware attack, including the ransomware software, the command and control server, and the malware payload. RaaS is very popular because it is easy to use and it allows anyone to become a ransomware developer.
The Dark Web
Finally, the last reason ransomware has become so successful is because it is now being sold on the Dark Web. The Dark Web is an encrypted network that is only accessible through special browsers like Tor. It is a haven for criminals because it allows them to buy and sell illegal goods and services without fear of being caught. Ransomware is now being sold on the Dark Web for as little as $40. This makes it easy for ransomware developers to get their hands on ransomware, and it also allows them to extort money from victims.
In conclusion, ransomware is a very lucrative business for criminals, and it is showing no signs of slowing down. To protect yourself from ransomware attacks, you need to be aware of the different ways ransomware can be delivered and you need to have a robust security solution in place. In addition, you should also have a backup plan in case your files are encrypted by ransomware..
If you are looking for a way to protect yourself from ransomware attacks, then you should consider using a managed information technology service. JNT Tek is a leading provider of managed information technology services, and they can help your business protect itself from ransomware attacks. For more information, please visit their website at www.jnttek.com.