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Shark bosses sink teeth into booming ransomware market

If Cerber can do it...

Shark surfaces above water with prey in his teeth, Photo by Shutterstock

Cybercrooks are harnessing the “ransomware-as-a-Service” (RaaS) business model to mount a new scam.

Coders distributing a ransomware builder to aspiring attackers that can be used on condition that a 20 per cent cut of any ransom payments it generates is returned to the original coders. The “Shark” ransomware is being distributed through a professional looking website that features information about the ransomware and instructions on how to download and configure it, Symantec reports.

The unknown crooks behind Shark are almost certainly inspired by Cerber, the world's biggest ransomware-as-a-service scam. Ransomware is a form of malware that encrypts files on compromised PCs before demanding a extortionate fee for a decryption key, typically payable in BitCoins.

Sian John, EMEA chief strategist at Norton by Symantec commented: “Our research shows that advanced cybercrime groups now mirror legitimate organisations in the way they operate, with networks of partners, associates, resellers and vendors. Some groups even deploy call centre operations to ensure maximum impact on their scamming efforts, and in some instances employees of the call centre are oblivious to the fact they are working for criminal groups executing low-level campaigns like tech support scams.” ®

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