According to a new report, cybercriminals looking to gain access to corporate infrastructure and endpoints can do so for the price of a Macbook, and sometimes even less.
Kaspersky analyzed some 200 messages on the dark web, advertising stolen data or stolen access to businesses of all shapes and sizes, and found that, on average, fraudsters pay between €2000 and €4000 to access systems (opens in a new tab) from large companies, which the researchers say is a sound investment given the potential for significant ROI.
After all, ransomware operators often demand payments in the millions.
Of the 200 messages analyzed, scammers advertise remote desktop access most often (75%) because it is not a virus, but instead provides access to a remotely hosted desktop or application, allowing criminals to connect, access, and control various data in the same way as employees physically present on the premises.
Purchase of access
In addition to the data stolen in the attacks, the scammers are also interested in the data needed to mount such an attack. Once an attacker breaks into the target infrastructure, they can sell that access to third parties such as ransomware operators.
While the average cost is between €2000 and €4000, general prices vary widely, from a few hundred dollars and up. The potential income of the victim is the main determinant of the cost of access, the researchers concluded.
"The cybercriminal community has evolved, not only from a technical point of view, but also from an organizational point of view," said Sergey Shcherbel, security expert at Kaspersky.
“Today, ransomware groups are more like real industries with services and products for sale. Gaining source visibility on the dark web is essential for companies looking to enrich their threat intelligence. Timely information about planned attacks, vulnerability discussions, and successful data breaches help narrow the attack surface and take appropriate action."
Ransomware attacks have simply skyrocketed in the last year. Recent figures from SonicWall recorded more than 600 million ransomware attacks worldwide in 2021, which is a 105% increase from the previous year. Compared to 2019, the figures are even worse, with an increase of 232%.
“Cyber attacks are becoming more attractive and potentially more disastrous as reliance on information technology increases,” said SonicWall Chairman and CEO Bill Conner.
"Protecting information in a world without limits is an almost impossible and thankless task, especially when the limits of organizations are continually expanding to limitless endpoints and networks."