back to article When criminals go corporate: Ransomware-as-a-service, bulk discounts and more

This summer, Abnormal Security discovered that some of its customers' staff were receiving emails inviting them to install ransomware on a company computer in return for a $1m share of the "profits". When Abnormal staff set up a fake persona and contacted the criminals to play along, though, things started to fall apart. While …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ransomware-as-a-service

    So, where is this corporatization model going? Presumably, imitating developement in legit corps, facebooks, googles and amazons, i.e. named and shamed in public for destroying small business model and ruining experience (and lives) for end users? Presumably, the darknet public is putting pressure on the 'legal' system that 'something must be done!' ;)

    1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

      Corporatisation is the cure, not just the disease

      We can bring the entire industry of Ransomware to its knees by infecting them with HR personnel.

      That'll completely stuff 'em.

  2. Version 1.0 Silver badge
    Childcatcher

    This is human evolution in action!

    Our paleolithic ancestors were just hunter gatherers, surviving by finding something to eat as they wandered around the world. Evolution led to farming and an increase in the average human size because we just became shepherds and cowboys with more time sitting at home thinking about easier ways to make a living. This lead to the invention of printing and new ways to drive and fly around the world - yes we still had to travel around the world. Machines became universal and computers were invented so we traveled around with a pack of floppy disks and then the Internet was invented ...

    So now we can make a living sitting at home anywhere in the world, distribute ransomware and collect money while we sit at home watching streaming movies and looking for new income sources on the Internet. Evolution is not just biology, it's culture too and we have evolved ... imagine where these new changes will take us ... shorter legs, longer fingers, 30 stones body weight (not kilograms these days), a mental ability to hack even more systems?

    But evolution only works when the changes create more children ... well, I guess we'll all be at home everyday waiting for the cryptocurrency to arrive .... so every year kids will turn up too.

  3. Clausewitz 4.0
    Devil

    Competitiveness

    Some market niches are indeed competitive. One must use all tools available to flourish.

  4. Potemkine! Silver badge

    With the threats increasing so much, I wonder why things aren't going more badly.

    If this trend continues, there may come a time when companies will have to be disconnected from the outside if they want to survive!

    1. pc-fluesterer.info
      Holmes

      ... or use FOSS

      By using FOSS OS and applications they could avoid 99,99% of the damage.

      1. pc-fluesterer.info
        Holmes

        Re: ... or use FOSS

        the truth hurts, does it?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The internet is not the ordinary world

    It's normally illegal to fire a gun at someone, whether you miss them or not.

    But on the internet nobody ever seems to get convicted of sending malware and ransomware all over the world, they only get chased if they succeed big time (earning more than 100 btc). I work on our mail-server stopping malware and ransomware all the time, a lot of it sails past the AV support which is just a malware design feature because there are no legal efforts to try and stop malware being mailed around the world. Governments are not trying to stop malware, only catch and punish the senders if they catch them (LOL, how often does that happen?)

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: The internet is not the ordinary world

      mail is sent from somewhere. Is there an automated utility that you could use to scan headers, find out the original sender, and generate a complaint to the 'abuse@' for the owning mail server owner and/or netblock containing that IP address??

      (it's a fair bet that it was hijacked, right? Telling them may cut down on it. It's a lot of work, though. And I admit I generally do not file complaints on EVERYthing trapped by my system, but the more heinous examples become "my new special friend")

      1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

        Re: The internet is not the ordinary world

        "mail appears to be sent from somewhere" - FTFY ... I don't claim to know where it's coming from, you might be right but this week all our malware appears to be coming from Germany, last week it was all appeared to be coming from Russia. The hackers sending you malware are very good at hiding their locations so I expect that most of it is from countries that don't appear to be sending any spam or malware these days (e.g maybe North Korea, I haven't seen anything direct from them for years now)...

        Our mail server scans headers and blocks IP addresses that send too much email too often, so we end up seeing very few hacking attempts.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The internet is not the ordinary world

        "Is there an automated utility that you could use to scan headers, find out the original sender, and generate a complaint to the 'abuse@' for the owning mail server owner and/or netblock containing that IP address??"

        You forgot one critical step: invent a time machine and go back to 1993 when abuse@ email addresses were monitored and when complaints were infrequent enough to act upon.

      3. pc-fluesterer.info
        FAIL

        and google is not a reputable e-mail provider

        I get SPAM sent from gmail accounts, sometimes even with DKIM signature. Often (depending on my mood) I send ABUSE complaints to all concerned. Have you ever tried sending an ABUSE complaint to abuse@gmail.com or network-abuse@google.com? The reaction is zero, nil, nought. :-(

    2. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Re: The internet is not the ordinary world and you can thank GODs* for that

      It's normally illegal to fire a gun at someone, whether you miss them or not.

      But on the internet nobody ever seems to get convicted of sending malware and ransomware all over the world, they only get chased if they succeed big time ..... Anonymous Coward

      Broken and unfulfilled party political election manifesto promises, which have been used to engineer one into a public position of private power with the wealth of a nation to fiddle and squander on an epic scale, are in the ordinary world malware and ransomware all over the world, and nobody ever seems to get convicted for inventing and/or employing it.

      What do you think of that system, apart from the fact that it sucks big time and is a fcuking disgrace, of course.

      Does it rely on the masses being kept extremely ignorant of the fact and daily fed all manner of other misleading distractions which effectively entrap and enslave them and inform, educate and entertain their virtually braindead and practically brainwashed audiences and spectators of the errors of their ways ....... which is nowadays a colossal massively expanding problem which cannot be relied on preventing revolutionary evolutionary change and protecting the worthy of public and private and pirate ire from receiving their just desserts.

      You can thank Global Operating Devices* and their Internets for that Heaven Sent Opportunity to Embrace, Extend and Extinguish of Enemies.

      Or do you not see that as an inescapable inauspicious fact and would vehemently deny the audacious veracity of the revelation, thus to render what Sir Winston Churchill is purported to have said of the electorate, sadly more likely true than not ......... The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Criminal penalties for (1) not disclosing attacks, and (2) paying ransomware would lead to the fastest change.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021