Carbon Black: Dark web ransomware economy growing at 2,500 per cent annually

170606 F AY392 0001With increased specialisation in the ransomware supply chain, some ransomware sellers are earning hundred thousand dollar salaries from the ballooning underground economy

Carbon Black, a leader in next-generation endpoint security, has announced the release of: “The Ransomware Economy: How and Why the Dark Web Marketplace for Ransomware Is Growing at a Rate of More Than 2,500 Per Cent Per Year.” 

Conducted by the network of the Carbon Black Threat Analysis Unit (TAU), the research found:

 ● There are currently more than 6,300 estimated dark web marketplaces selling ransomware, with more than 45,000 current product listings.

 ● The prices for do-it-yourself (DIY) ransomware ranges from US$0.50 to US$3,000. The median price is US$10.50.

 ● When comparing 2016 vs. 2017 YTD, ransomware sales on the dark web have grown from US$249,287.05 to US$6,237,248.90, a growth rate of 2,502 per cent. According to the FBI, ransomware extorted about US$1bn in 2016.

 ● Some ransomware sellers are making more than US$100,000 per year simply retailing ransomware.

 ● The most notable innovations contributing to the proliferation and success of the dark web ransomware economy have been the emergence of Bitcoin for ransom payment, and the anonymity network, The Onion Router, better known as TOR, to mask illicit activities.

 ● Ransomware sellers are increasingly specialising in one specific area of the supply chain, further contributing to ransomware’s boom and economy development.

 “Based on our research, ransomware can no longer be perceived as petty criminals performing stick ups and kidnappings,” said Rick McElroy, Carbon Black’s security strategist. “Instead, ransomware has become a rapidly growing, cloud-based black market economy focused on destruction and profit. Today, legitimate enterprises avoid heavy investments in infrastructure and hackers are no different. In fact, with Ransomware, hackers have set a model for a cloud-based, high profit and effective turnkey service economy.” 

“With the ability for ransomware authors to make more than US$100,000 per year, it comes as very little surprise that dark web underground economies are flourishing,” said McElroy. “The sad reality is that many businesses are on their own when it comes to staying protected. A lack of fundamental security controls such as backups, testing, restoration, patching, visibility, and out of date prevention strategies means business can expect the problem to get worse before it gets any better.” 

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