Cybercriminals who want to gain access to a company’s endpoints and infrastructure can do so for the price of a Macbook, and sometimes even less, according to a new report.
Kaspersky analyzed nearly 200 posts on the dark web, advertising stolen data or stolen access to companies of all shapes and sizes, and found that, on average, criminals pay an average of $2,000 to $4,000 to access systems. (opens in new tab) large corporations, which the researchers believe is a solid investment given the potential for high ROI.
After all, ransomware operators often demand payments in the millions.
Of the 200 posts analyzed, most of the time criminals advertise remote desktop access (75%) as it is not a virus but provides access to a remotely hosted desktop or application and allows criminals to connect, access and control various data in the same way as employees physically present on the premises.
In addition to the data stolen in attacks, criminals are also interested in the data needed to mount such an attack. When 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 $2,000 and $4,000, overall prices vary widely, from a few hundred dollars upwards. Potential victim revenue is the number one determinant of the cost of access, the researchers concluded.
“The cybercriminal community has evolved, not just from a technical point of view, but from an organizational point of view,” noted Sergey Shcherbel, security expert at Kaspersky.
“Ransomware groups today look more like real industries with services and products for sale. Gaining visibility of sources on the dark web is essential for companies looking to enrich their threat intelligence. Timely information on planned attacks, discussions of vulnerabilities and breaches successful data collection will help reduce the attack surface and lead to appropriate action.”
Ransomware attacks just exploded in the past year. Recent figures from SonicWall recorded more than 600 million ransomware attacks occurring worldwide in 2021, representing a 105% increase over the previous year. Compared to 2019, the numbers are even worse, up 232%.
“Cyber attacks become more attractive and potentially more disastrous as dependence on information technology increases,” said SonicWall President and CEO Bill Conner.
“Protecting information in a boundless world is an almost impossible and thankless job, especially as the boundaries of organizations are always expanding to limitless endpoints and networks.”