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Improvements in Ransomware distribution

Article for: Information only
Difficulty: Easy
Importance: An exciting new trend

Adam Smith, in his classic economics text An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations, written in 1776, outlined the benefits of a division of labor. We usually think of this as specialization. He considered it a major factor in the improvement of economic productivity. We are now seeing this playing out brilliantly in the Ransomware market.

Ransomware as a service (RaaS)

About 25 companies, (groups?) are marketing Ransomware as a service to criminal gangs. There are 5 major players, followed by another 20 striving to break into the elite group. By doing the heavy lifting, and then renting the code and crypto currency payouts, they enable thousands of less competent criminals to cash in on the benefits. These less skilled criminals simply rent low-cost packages.

Network Access Sellers

But, in a newer division of labor, we find specialists in Network access. These hackers break into the networks of government agencies and corporations and then sell the access to the Ransomware as a Service providers.

So, we have one group specializing in network access, another in providing the ransomware encryption and payment processing, and then the "consumers" who rent the service to do the attacks on individual companies and agencies.

The wonders of capitalism seem to be a two-edged sword.

Further reading

Date: January 2021

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This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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