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6,300 Dark Web Marketplaces Are Selling Ransomware

Computer security researchers identified that the current prices of most Dark Web ransomware strains are becoming higher as beginner hackers flock to custom-made solutions.

Dark Web Ransomware Is in High Demand

In the last few years ransomware viruses are one of the attack scenarios used by computer criminals. They are frequently bought on the underground Dark Web marketplaces. The available showcases some of the leading trends among the criminals. The average price of the DIY (do-it-yourself) viruses ranges is about $10, the cheapest options can be as low as $0.50 and can increase to up to $3000 per instance.

The Dark Web ransomware strains have different prices depending on the hacker’s preferences. The cheapest options are the base malware family strains which have only basic encryption engines. Higher prices are asked for customized versions. The priciest offerings are the viruses that are custom-made for the criminals according to their own preferences.

Related Story: Dynamics of Ransomware Prices over Time

The researchers note that the Dark Web ransomware are no longer in the hands of experienced criminals. Now even those with no knowledge about computer networks, vulnerability testing and other related spheres can utilize a bought easy-to-use computer virus and launch it via their own or rented infrastructure.

While the majority of malware detected by security engineers on a daily basis are merely customized versions of some of the most famous families of threats, the ricing prices of the Dark Web ransomware showcase an interesting observation ‒ the demand for the viruses has risen and so the prices have been adjusted to meet the expectations of the developers.

Dark Web Ransomware Prices Follow the Trends

The observations that follow-up the research results reveal key points that are related to the way contemporary hackers operate:

  • Virus operators that acquire the samples from the Dark Web ransomware strains no longer rely on their own infrastructure. In the last few years some of the larger attacks were carried out using cloud servers and relays that run on infected botnet nodes.
  • Dark Web ransomware strains rely on the Tor hidden network to both gather the harvested funds from the criminals and communicate with other criminal groups.
  • Security reports from different sources showcase that ransomware authors can make more than $100000 per year as a result of attacks against corporate networks worldwide.
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Security experts and institutions that investigate cyber crime reveal that in the last few years the hackers tend to focus on specific industries rather than end users. The reason for this is because it has become more lucrative to blackmail corporations that are much more likely to have both the required sums and the ability to pay it.

Related Story: Top 6 Advanced Obfuscation Techniques Hiding Malware on Your Device

The rising prices of the ransomware strains however do not constitute a barrier of the hackers. Open-source malware families are becoming popular and the hacker attacks are carried out against millions of users worldwide. Once again we would like to remind our readers that the most effective way to protect against incoming attacks is to employ a quality anti-spyware solution. It can also easily remove discovered infections with a few mouse clicks.


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Martin Beltov

Martin graduated with a degree in Publishing from Sofia University. As a cyber security enthusiast he enjoys writing about the latest threats and mechanisms of intrusion.

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