And there are many similarities with traditional businesses.
The hacker companies’ new trick: Hire hobby hackers and make a fortune
First a little background: Ransomware, or hostage software as we can call it in Swedish, is on the rise. The affected person has in one way or another had malicious software installed on their computer. Files, folders and other content suddenly become encrypted and impossible to access. The perpetrators, often a larger collective of cybercriminals, then demand money to help you unlock everything again.
They are often both polite and patient – and three out of four are willing to negotiate down the cost. Deadlines are by no means set in stone, and should you need more time to retrieve the ransom (usually bitcoin), it can usually be arranged. This is evident through several concrete examples in F-Secure’s report, which also examined how informative and user-friendly the ransomware gangs’ websites are.
One of the biggest companies is behind the malicious Cerber program. They get almost full pot for their professional site and information that is conveyed in 12 languages. The Cerber gang, like many others, quickly and clearly answers the questions of those affected. Some of the hacks go so far as to guide you on how to get bitcoins and deposit them. Here, the Jigsaw spouses are the best, which is illustrated, among other things, in a long conversation that can be read in the report.
Try-on courses in encryption, large question/answer sections and quick feedback. F-Secure paints a paradoxical picture of the everyday life of ransomware companies. After all, building trust and serving their victims is essential if any money is to be paid out at all.
In a press release, F-Secure comments on its investigation as follows:
– We read about ransomware every day and lately it has been described as something of an epidemic, says Sean Sullivan, security expert at F-Secure.
– We wanted to show another side of this problem, and at the same time take the opportunity to remind people and companies what they can actually do to protect themselves from this threat: Keep operating systems and installed programs up to date, use a good security program , be careful with email and – perhaps most importantly – if all else fails: Take regular backups, before you get hit.