Ransomware is a dangerous form of malware that has been taking the cybersecurity world by storm. However, there is an even more malicious variation known as “RAAS,” or “ransomware-as-a-service”. With these ever-present threats lurking on the Internet, it’s important to stay informed. Below, we’ll help you learn more about ransomware and how some cybercriminals are selling ransomware as a service.

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is a form of malware that puts your personal information at risk. Criminals use this type of malware to publically threaten the distribution of a victim’s private data. There are different forms of ransomware that range in intensity. Some ransomware locks devices and prevents users from accessing them, while others utilize cryptoviral extortion. 

In most cases, ransomware attacks require victims to pay a fee in order to regain access to their files. These files can include personal information that victims wish to keep private, or it may be important financial or work data. Ultimately, all ransomware cases share the same trait: a criminal extorts a victim for money.

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What is Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS)?

Ransomware-as-a-service, or RaaS, is created with modified ransomware tools that work with a multi-user system. Creators then sell the software on the dark web. This is valuable for many cybercriminals because it requires no technical knowledge to execute. They simply locate a service that fits their needs, sign up, and pay for it with cryptocurrency. Once they have access to the software, criminals can then launch their attacks. 

Criminals can utilize RaaS in many different ways. RaaS can take down both large and small operations. One of the most well-known and damaging ransomware attacks in history was perpetrated by DarkSide, a RaaS operator. No matter how large or small an organization may be, there is still a threat of ransomware attacks.

How to Protect Against Ransomware as a Service

Protecting yourself against something like ransomware may seem challenging, but there are many ways to give yourself additional security. Take a look below at some of the best ways to secure your devices against RaaS attacks:

  • Keep your software up to date
  • Monitor your Wi-Fi network 
  • Avoid opening suspicious messages or attachments
  • Never download software from an untrustworthy site
  • Look out for phishing attacks via email or text messages
  • Keep your system backed up 
  • Use a reliable VPN

Unfortunately, when it comes to the decision of whether or not to pay the ransom after being the victim of a RaaS attack, your best bet is to take it to the authorities. Because each case is so unique, it’s hard to apply a one-size-fits-all solution. If you believe that your device or network is in danger of a ransomware-as-a-service attack, contact your network admin and law enforcement.

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