Ransomware and the Democratization of Electronic Crime

by Dave Wasson

Ransom demands have never been easier than they are today.

Within the last decade, we saw the impact of malware-as-a-service, but the breadth of attacks tended to be narrow. Until recently, creating malware required very specific skills.

Today, ransomware tools are more available and accessible than ever before, including do-it-yourself kits available online. These kits, which often cost very little, present real potential to make money. If an extortionist is able to find just over 100 individuals or entities who are willing and able to pay a $500 demand, that extortionist will have made as much as the average American family – and the extortionist can make this money in a short period of time and from the comfort of home.

As both ransomware and cryptocurrency (the preferred method of paying ransom demands) both become more mainstream, it is difficult to envision a scenario where ransomware becomes less prevalent in the near future.

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