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Ransomware now a 'fully established business model'

Ransomware is no longer a quick and easy way for cyber-criminals to get their hands on some money. It is now considered a ‘permanent fixture on the threat landscape’ – at least according to PhishMe’s Q2 2016 Malware Review.

The security experts’ new report says ransomware now accounts for 50 per cent of all malware configurations, meaning it is now a mature business model. It also says it shows no outward signs of diminishing.

There are three key trends which have been previously recorded, but are now considered ‘firmly established’, by PhishMe, and those include Encryption Ransomware, Rise in evasion techniques, and Simple attacks.

Ransomware is considered a ‘tried and trusted business model’. More and more of these malicious payloads come with ‘simple evasion techniques’, to evade previously set up security solutions.

And finally, it says that simple attacks still ‘pack a punch’. A significant number of malware were recorded with ‘less sophisticated actors’ wielding robust feature sets.

“Barely a year ago, ransomware was a concerning trend on the rise. Now, ransomware is a fully established business model and a reliable profit engine for cybercriminals, as threat actors involved treat it as a legitimate industry by selling information, tools and resources to peers based all around the world,” explained Rohyt Belani, CEO & Co-Founder, PhishMe.

“Empowering the human element to detect and report these campaigns needs to be a top priority for organizations if they are to protect themselves from a threat that is here for the long term.”

Photo credit: wsf-s / Shutterstock

Sead Fadilpašić

Sead is a freelance journalist with more than 15 years of experience in writing various types of content, from blogs, whitepapers, and reviews to ebooks, and many more, across sites including Al Jazeera Balkans, TechRadar Pro, IT Pro Portal, and CryptoNews.