The new white paper from the NCSC entitled ‘Ransomware extortion and the cyber crime ecosystem', published in conjunction with the NCA, takes a deep dive into the market, including the phenomenal rise of Ransomware-as-a-Service.
It’s been six years since the NCSC published their Cyber Crime Business Model report, and in that time, Ransomware has emerged as the most developed of all the cyber crime types as threat actors adapt their tactics to increase efficiencies and maximise profits.
The distinguishing characteristic of ransomware is its encryption of data on victims' systems until a ransom is paid.
Given the widespread use of IT systems, ransomware attacks can have catastrophic consequences for both victims and their customers. This is why it continues to be the most pressing cyber threat facing UK businesses and organisations.
Since 2018, businesses have made strides in their preparedness for and response to ransomware attacks.
Simultaneously, OCGs (Organised Crime Groups) have adjusted their business models to maximise their ill-gotten gains. For instance, ransomware victims now not only grapple with being locked out of their systems but also fear the exposure of their sensitive data online, risking reputational harm and potential hefty fines under regulations like UK GDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018.
Beyond the actual ransomware malware (e.g., Lockbit or ALPHV), numerous supporting services, platforms, distributors, and affiliates play pivotal roles in orchestrating a ransomware attack, such as initial access brokers. It is this broader criminal ecosystem that the white paper looks to highlight in its content.
The white paper represents the latest addition to a series of publications by the NCSC addressing the ongoing ransomware threat.
It is vital to note that implementing NCSC recommendations can assist to disrupt the majority of attacks, underscoring the importance of encouraging system owners and technical staff to visit the NCSC's ransomware resource pages, which provide guidance on safeguarding organisations against ransomware assaults.
Read the white paper in full here: Ransomware, extortion and the cyber crime ecosystem
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