As the world marks the second Anti-Ransomware Day, there’s no way to deny it: ransomware has become the buzzword in the security community. And not without good reason. The threat may have been around a long time, but it’s changed. Year after year, the attackers have grown bolder, methodologies have been refined and, of course, systems have been breached. Yet, much of the media attention ransomware gets is focused on chronicling which companies fall prey to it. In this report, we take a step back from the day-to-day ransomware news cycle and follow the ripples back into the heart of the ecosystem to understand how it is organized.
First, we will debunk three preconceived ideas that obstruct proper thinking on the ransomware threat. Next, we dive deep into the darknet to demonstrate how cybercriminals interact with each other and the types of services they provide. And finally, we conclude with a look at two high-profile ransomware brands: REvil and Babuk.