Ransomware-as-a-Service: Rampant in the Underground Black Market

Given the popularity and success of ransomware, it is no surprise that malware authors have been developing more ransomware than ever before. Last year’s cost of ransomware attacks reached $1 billion, which not only shows how this affects businesses, but for cybercriminals the potential pay-out for cyber-extortion can be very lucrative.


The rise of ransomware infections may also be attributed to the attractiveness growing availability of Ransomware-as-a-Service (Raas). Ransomware authors posts are now developing user-friendly front ends for their malware, and posting advertisements on underground forums that promotes their ransomware product and its features. This service promises fledgling cyber criminals that they can make money through cyber-extortion without needing the expertise to create their own malware. Each offering also includes some gimmick to make their product more enticing, such as franchise-like opportunities, profit sharing, or unique features to avoid detection or increase success.


To give you a better idea of the scope of this growing problem, let’s take a look at Ransomware-as-a-Service offerings seen in hacking forums and underground markets and check their features and prices.


HOSTMAN Ransomware

Price: Basic – USD 9.95(Limited use)  Big – USD 49.95(Unlimited use)

Posted just this January, this ad claims that besides file encryption, this RaaS offering also has worm capabilities, which is not common for ransomware. Ransomware with this capability is more dangerous since it will result in more infected users. Hostman Ransomware also advertise that it can be customized for buyers, including the demanded ransom price, bitcoin address, targeted files, and other features. 

Prevention is the Best Practice

The only safe way of dealing with ransomware is prevention. The best defense against Ransomware malware is to create awareness within the organizations, as well as to maintain back-ups that are rotated regularly.

Most viruses and infections are introduced by opening infected attachments or clicking on malicious links usually served in spam emails. So, don't click on links provided in emails and attachments from unknown sources.

Besides this, always ensure that your systems and devices are running the latest version of Antivirus software with updated malware definitions.

RansomFree Tool Detects Never-Seen-Before Ransomware Before It Encrypts Your Data




Boston-based cyber security firm Cybereason has released RansomFree — a real-time ransomware detection and response software that can spot most strains of Ransomware before it starts encrypting files and alert the user to take action.

RansomFree is a free standalone product and is compatible with PCs running Windows 7, 8 and 10, as well as Windows Server 2010 R2 and 2008 R2.

Instead of regularly updated malware signatures to fight the bad programs, RansomFree uses "behavioral and proprietary deception" techniques to detect new ransomware variants in action before the threat has a chance to encrypt your data.

What's the worst that could happen when a Ransomware hits a Hotel?

Recently, hundreds of guests of a luxurious hotel in Austria were locked in or out of their rooms when ransomware hit the hotel's IT system, and the hotel had no choice left except paying the attackers.

Today, we are living in a digital age that is creating a digital headache for people and organizations around the world with cyber attacks and data breaches on the rise.

Ransomware is one of them.

The threat has been around for a few years, but during 2016, it has turned into a noxious game of Hackers to get paid effortlessly by targeting hospitals, Universities, private businesses and even police departments and making hundreds of millions of dollars.


Now, the Romantik Seehotel Jäegerwirt 4-Star Superior Hotel has admitted it paid €1,500 (£1,275/$1,600) in Bitcoin ransom to cybercriminals who managed to break into their network and hack their electronic key card system that prevented its guests from entering or leaving their rooms.

The luxury hotel with a beautiful lakeside setting on the Alpine Turracher Hoehe Pass in Austria, like several other hotels in the industry, has a modern IT system that includes key cards for its hotel doors, which could not be programmed.