Software as a Service (SaaS) is common and is where companies or individuals pay a subscription to access software rather than actually buying it. This is how Microsoft 365 works – you pay a monthly or annual subscription to use Microsoft Office on your devices.
Unfortunately, criminals are now treating ransomware like this – with some criminal setups letting scammers make use of their ransomware for a subscription charge.
This makes it easier for the scammers who are less computer literate as they don’t need to make or buy the ransomware software.
The Coveware 2020 report shows that ransomware attacks have increased by 25 percent from Q4 2019 to Q1 2020. The monetary value of the average ransom payment has also increased from an average ransom of $41,198 to $84,116.
Ransomware is malware that once it gets onto a computer system encrypts information files and then issues a demand for a ransom to be paid or the decryption key to unlock those files will not be provided.
Payment is often demanded in Bitcoin or other untraceable methods.
Once infected with ransomware, it is very difficult for the victims to save their data and recently, these criminals have started to publish the information they find, onto the Internet as a way of embarrassing the owners and trying to force them to pay the ransom.
All computer systems should be protected against ransomware by the standard practices of
- Making regular backups of all important files
- Taking backups off site
- Keeping anti malware up to date and installed on every device.
- Maintain firewalls and all other protections against intrusion
If you have any experiences with these scams do let me know, by email.