July 21, 2019

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Open for Business, Ransomware Authors and Perpetrators Cashing in on Emerging Dark Web Marketplace Economy

The emergence of a booming dark web marketplace has facilitated the skyrocketing ransomware sales from US$249,287.05 in 2016 to US$6,237,248.90 as of September 2017, representing a growth rate of 2,502%. This rapid growth is in part due to not only the effectiveness of ransomware as a criminal enterprise but the increased availability to partake in such activities. According to a recent report by Carbon Black, The Ransomware Economy: How and Why the Dark Web Marketplace for Ransomware Is Growing at a Rates of More than 2,500% Per Year, there are 45,000 ransomware product lines at an average price of US$10.50 and includes various do-it yourself (DIY) kits.

It is not unsurprising that there has been such a rapid growth in the ransomware dark web marketplace, as the FBI estimate US$1 billion was extorted in 2016. The growing ease of access to ransomware, with some ransomware authors making over US$100,000 per year from retail sales there is no sign of the ransomware economy slowing. Carbon Black has also attributed the proliferation and success of the dark web ransomware economy to the emergence of Bitcoin, which facilitates ransom payments, and The Onion Router (TOR), which helps preserve ransomware perpetrators anonymity which in conjunction has lowered the barriers to entry for new entrants.

As the level of sophistication of ransomware perpetrators increases, and the emergence of a ransomware supply chain with perpetrators specialising in one component of the supply chain, businesses will need to start actively managing its cybersecurity risks rather than taking a responsive approach to ransomware attacks.

Carbon Black’s full report can be found here if you would like further information.

Copyright 2019 K & L Gates

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About this Author

Cameron Abbott, Technology, Attorney, Australia, corporate, KL Gates Law Firm
Partner

Mr. Abbott is a corporate lawyer who focuses on technology, telecommunications and broadcasting transactions. He assists corporations and vendors in managing their technology requirements and contracts, particularly large outsourcing and technology procurements issues including licensing terms for SAP and Oracle and major system integration transactions.

Mr. Abbott partners with his clients to ensure market leading solutions are implemented in to their businesses. He concentrates on managing and negotiating complex technology solutions, which...

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Giles Whittaker, KL Gates, corporate transactional lawyer, outsourcing intellectual property attorney

Mr. Whittaker is a corporate and transactional lawyer with a focus on technology, outsourcing and intellectual property (IP). He advises on a broad range of technology and broadcasting transactions, including procurement, implementation, IP licensing and commercialisation. Mr. Whittaker also provides regulatory advice regarding privacy, data retention and website content.

Mr. Whittaker joined K&L Gates in 2016 and has gained experience in the Corporate M&A and Complex Commercial Litigation and Disputes teams.

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