How does your salary compare to that of a “Ransomeware Boss”?
New research on Russian hackers from security intelligence firm Flashpoint suggests that, on average, those use malware to extort money from victims earn up to USD $90,000 a year, or $7,500 every month.
According to the report, the healthcare industry tends to be the biggest target for both ransomware users and those who offer it as a service.
The aforementioned salary is about thirteen times that of current Russian wages.
“Ransomware is clearly paying for Russian cybercriminals,” Vitali Kremez, cybercrime intelligence analyst at Flashpoint said in a statement. “As Ransomware as a Service campaigns become more wide-spread and accessible to even low-level cybercriminals, such attacks may result in difficult situations for individuals and corporations not yet ready to deal with these new waves.”
The report attributes the success of Russian hackers to increased organization among communities, lowering barriers to entry.
According to Flashpoint, “crime bosses” are now recruiting hackers to join a network of ransomware distributors. They then begin attacking corporations using botnet installs, email and social media phishing campaigns, compromised servers and file-sharing websites.
While not the only targets, hospitals and healthcare networks are targeted as they have so far resulted in large-scale payouts for critical files. It has resulted in ransomware specifically targeting this sector.
Nevertheless, criminals operate the malware in all industries.