The illegal way of locking a computer or smartphone and making money out of it is raking in more money since 2016. The ransomware business is becoming more and more popular in the dark web. Currently, there are more or less 45 000 products held for ransom.
The ransomware market revenue was only around $250 000 in 2016. In 2017, the business surged to more than 2500% or $6.2 million. The damages, according to FBI, totaled to $1B in 2016 from $24M in 2015.
The increase of 2500% over the year is according to the report of Carbon Black. Titled “The Ransomware Economy,” the security firm told how the Bitcoin and other virtual currencies further increased the activity of the wrongdoers. The use of Bitcoin and others shielded them in the guise of anonymity. The anonymous networks or browsers like Tor also enabled the increase in activity.
There are more than 6300 markets in the dark web. Moreover, prices range from $1 to more than $3000 depending on the variety. There are many cloned apps and some custom programs.
Many May Become Victims of Ransomware
Given the increasing trend of the ransomware market, many attackers will surely exploit it. They will further campaign in spreading malware, phishing attacks, etc. to get more product listings. Carbon Black also predicted that the ransomware attackers would make use of social media more to aim specific industries. Furthermore, the attack may not be compressed on commonly used OS. The Linux system may be added to the target list to get more money.
FBI and other law enforcement agencies need to up their game too. The ransomware industry is not a group of people who have nothing in their arsenal. These people are from large networks, and they employ cloud services to intensify the scale of their attacks. On the victims’ end, the ransomware market will not flourish if they decided not to cough up money. However, their desperation to get back their software and data is nothing to be trifled with.