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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.
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.