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Icon representing US Coast Guard Bulletin: Cyber Adversaries Targeting Commercial Vessels
US Coast Guard Bulletin: Cyber Adversaries Targeting Commercial Vessels

June 21st 2019
Icon representing Would you pay $1m for a laptop full of malware?
Would you pay $1m for a laptop full of malware?

May 23rd 2019
Icon representing Singapore Opens Maritime Cybersecurity Operations Centre (MSOC)
Singapore Opens Maritime Cybersecurity Operations Centre (MSOC)

May 22nd 2019
 
 
 

WannaCry Ransomware Sold in the Middle Eastern and North African Underground

 
October 11th 2017
Sales soar to $6.2 million as do-it-yourself kits, ransomware-as-a-service, and distribution offerings take hold.
Ransomware is a $6.2 million industry, based on sales generated from a network of more than 6,300 Dark Web marketplaces that sell over 45,000 products, according to a report released Wednesday by Carbon Black.

Revenue from these illicit marketplaces soared 2,502% so far in 2017, compared to $249,287 raised in all of 2016, the report states.

"It's surprising how fast specialization has occurred in this industry and how fast it has grown," says Rick McElroy, Carbon Black security strategist.

Among the best sellers on the Dark Web marketplaces include do-it-yourself ransomware kits that range from 50 cents to $3,000, with the median price at $10.50, the report notes. Custom ransomware, meanwhile, costs in excess of $3,000, says McElroy.

"You don't have to know how to code your ransomware to get your business up and running," McElroy says.

Other products include lockscreen ransomware that targets Android devices for $1, custom ransomware that comes with source code for $1,000 or more, and ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) and distribution services, the report says.

The study focused on three tiers that comprise the ransomware ecosystem: tier 1 are ransomware authors; tier 2 is RaaS; and tier 3 are the distributors.

"It was surprising how much you can make authoring ransomware," McElroy says. The findings revealed some ransomware authors earn as much as $163,000 per year, substantially higher than the $69,000 that is usually paid to software developers.

The Dark Web marketplaces also feature a rating system for sellers, similar to that found on eBay, McElroy says.

Takeaway for Enterprises

Carbon Black's survey found 52% of respondents would be willing to pay a ransom if their files and documents were inaccessible.

The survey also says 12% would be willing to pay $500 or more to retrieve their data in a ransomware attack; 29% would be willing to pay between $100 to $500 to reclaim their data; and 59% would pay less than $100 to get their data back.

Enterprises may be able to sidestep a ransomware attack if they had their data secured in a backup. But according to a survey released Tuesday by Mimecast, 88% of the 600 IT decision makers surveyed report that their organizations characterized their existing archiving solutions as problematic.

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