Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS)

Definition - What does Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS) mean?

Ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) is an unusual type of software-as-a-service (SaaS) provided as a vendor platform through the internet. Among the many kinds of software-as-a-service provided by tech vendors, ransomware-as-a-service is different as it represents an offering used by criminals to attack IT systems.

Techopedia explains Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS)

In a ransomware-as-a-service situation, an unprincipled vendor offers hackers and malicious actors a platform tool for the purposes of using ransomware to hold computer files, information or systems hostage. Ransomware is a type of software that infects a computer to encrypt or lock down files or systems. Typically, the person using the ransomware then requests a financial ransom in order to return data access to the victim.

Most kinds of software-as-a-service involve straightforward enterprise or user services such as the provision of desktop, infrastructure, ERP, customer relationship management or other digital services. The unfortunate emergence of ransomware-as-a-service means that hackers and black hat operatives are using the software-as-a-services model to enable criminal enterprise. In other words, they can “order up” the ability to pirate a system and hold someone else’s data hostage. As with traditional ransoms, ransomware-as-a-service users often take deliberate steps to make their behaviors hard to track, including requesting digital payments that may be difficult to trace.

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