Breaking Down Ransomware as a Service (RaaS), the Subscription Service You Never Asked For

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Have you ever wondered why cyber attacks—particularly ransomware—are on the rise despite your best efforts to amp up your security? The answer is both intriguing and disconcerting. Let's talk about a seriously undesired subscription model called Ransomware as a Service, or RaaS.

RaaS is a lot like that software subscription your business uses for its accounting or customer relationship management needs. Only in this case, it's not a helpful resource for your business—it's a tool that cybercriminals subscribe to wreak havoc on businesses like yours.

In the same way you might pay monthly access to a software platform, some not-so-friendly individuals are paying a regular fee to access malicious ransomware tools. These tools let users—often with little to no technical knowledge—launch cyberattacks. 

Think of RaaS like a "Netflix for cybercriminals." Just like the way you (or your young ones) subscribe to watch favorite shows, cyber baddies are paying a subscription to access a suite of ransomware tools.

Sounds crazy, right? Here's how it works in simple terms:

  1. The Creative Process: Some tech-savvy wrong-doers create malicious software, designed to lock you out of your own files. These digital troublemakers then offer this software 'as a service' to other criminals through dark web marketplaces or other channels.

  2. The Subscription: Like signing up for a gym membership, interested bad guys pay a fee to access this ransomware. This fee can be a flat rate, a subscription model, or a commission from the ransom payments.

  3. The Attack: These users - now equipped with nasty tools - spread the ransomware around the internet, tricking unsuspecting victims into downloading it. They might use tactics like disguising the ransomware in an email, malicious advertisements, or sneaking it through a loophole in outdated software.

  4. The Ransom: If your system gets infected, your files get locked up and out jumps a ransom demand - often asking for untraceable digital money (cryptocurrency) to unlock them.

  5. The Profit Split: If a victim actually pays, the 'subscription provider' takes a cut and the rest goes to the person who launched the attack.

This low-barrier business model has made it easier for average Joe's to turn into cyber criminals, which is a big part of why ransomware attacks have become so common.

The Business Model of Cybercrime

The primary motive behind these attacks is financial gain. Attackers either seek to extract money directly by holding systems hostage and demanding ransom or indirectly by stealing data to sell on the dark web. The availability of RaaS platforms on the dark web has made this a financially attractive option for criminals, further fueling the rise of ransomware attacks​​.

Lockwell's Defense Strategy

At Lockwell, we understand the severity of this threat and the need for robust defenses against such sophisticated attacks.  We believe that cybersecurity is not just a box to be ticked, but a core part of running a small business in the digital age. It shouldn't be a privilege, but an accessible resource, priced fairly and protecting your business efficiently.

Through our advanced AI technology, Lockwell helps secure your business by monitoring your systems, detecting threats and taking action, all in real-time. With Lockwell, you can lean back and focus on what you do best, while we handle your cybersecurity.

Think of us as putting your cybersecurity on autopilot and giving you peace of mind. So, here's to fewer sleepless nights over murky cyber threats!

The Way Forward

The rise of RaaS underscores the need for businesses to adopt a proactive and layered approach to cybersecurity. It's no longer sufficient to rely on traditional security measures alone. In response to this evolving threat, Lockwell is committed to providing accessible, robust, and comprehensive cybersecurity solutions that protect businesses from the ground up.

As we navigate this digital age, it's crucial for businesses to stay informed and prepared against the myriad of cyber threats. By understanding the mechanics behind RaaS and adopting a strategic approach to cybersecurity, businesses can shield themselves from the financial and operational fallout of ransomware attacks. At Lockwell, our mission is to empower businesses with the tools and knowledge they need to secure their digital assets and ensure their resilience in the face of cyber threats. Stay safe, stay informed, and together, let's lock up against ransomware.