Russian ransom software sells on darkweb for just £30

The cyber crime weapons for sale for less than a tank of petrol that can take down a business

The cyber crime tools sold for less than a pair of children’s shoes that can destroy a business

The cyber security plague known as ‘ransomware’ is now an epidemic with crime gangs selling lifetime use of the software to the criminals who use it for as little as £30.

According to new research by the Ponemon Institute, one of the main reasons for its success is employee negligence.

The criminal software, often run from computers in Russia or Ukraine, if allowed to run quite simply encrypts an organisation or individual’s information and refuses to allow access to that information unless a ransom of between £10,000 to £5,000 is paid.

The crime trend is now spawning new variants at the rate of several a month with one of the latest Stampado now on sale in the dark web for $39 some £30.

Typically, the ransom increases the longer that the criminals have to wait to be paid and has to be settled in Bitcoin, the internet currency that is itself a product of an encryption technology.

The software gets its name from the technology industry’s habit of compacting words together, often in the process reducing understanding among those who are not IT literate – ransomware is a compaction of ransom software.

The commonest method to trigger the installation of ransomware on a machine is to click on a link in an infected email, this starts the process of encrypting data that has seen large and small companies, police forces and hospitals fall victim to the criminal activity.

The best way to protect against the threat is to regularly run back-ups of your data and to take advice on how to do so in such a way as to avoid those backups also becoming encrypted by ‘ransomware’.

 

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