The emergence of cybercrime-as-a-service (CaaS) has become a chilling reality successfully operating inside the dark web. The dark web is a hidden corner of the internet accessible only through special browser software and has become a marketplace for illicit activities where cybercriminals offer their services to the highest bidder. As businesses increasingly rely on digital platforms, the threat of cybercrime is constant, making it imperative for organizations to be vigilant and proactive in safeguarding their sensitive information.
Cybercrime-As-A-Service: A Business Model
On the dark web, a sinister marketplace has emerged, offering various services that anyone can easily purchase for nefarious reasons. From ransomware, malware, and DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks to the renting or purchasing of hacking tools, cybercrime as a service has become a thriving industry that operates “openly” inside the dark web. In addition, the anonymity of cryptocurrencies further fuels this underground economy, making it extremely difficult for law enforcement to trace and apprehend the culprits.
Small and Medium-Sized Businesses (SMB): A Primary Target for Cyber Attackers
73% of SMBs experienced a cyber attack, data breach, or both in 2023. SMBs are at greater risk simply because they lack sufficient cybersecurity measures, making them attractive and easy targets for cybercriminals. There is also the threat of big corporations and other direct competitors trying to eliminate their competition by hiring hackers they find inside the dark web.
Cybercrime Tools Offered Inside the Dark Web
Inside the virtual black market of the dark web, anyone can easily access the tools needed to carry out a cyberattack. Here are some common services and tools provided by cybercrime-as-a-service:
Malware as a Service (MaaS)
This includes creating, distributing, and managing malware. Customers can purchase or rent ready-made malware or commission custom malware development for specific purposes.
Ransomware as a Service (RaaS)
RaaS platforms allow users to distribute ransomware without having to develop the malicious software themselves. The service provider typically takes a percentage of the ransom payments as a fee.
DDoS as a Service (DDoSaaS)
This service offers distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks to disrupt online services. Customers can pay for a specified duration and intensity of DDoS attacks against a target.
Cybercriminals can rent or purchase exploit kits that contain pre-packaged and automated attacks targeting vulnerabilities in popular software. This simplifies the process of launching attacks for individuals with limited technical skills.
Phishing as a Service (PhaaS)
Phishing services provide tools and infrastructure for launching these types of campaigns. This can include phishing emails, fake websites, and social engineering tactics.
These services focus on illegal trade and stolen credit card information use. Cybercriminals can buy or sell credit card details, Card Verification Values (CVVs), and other related information.
Cybercriminals can use encrypting services to conceal their malware, making it more difficult for security solutions to detect. This includes encrypting or encoding malicious code.
Fight Fire with Fire
Protecting your business’s and customers’ sensitive and valuable data is paramount. Considering the levels of threats out there, investing in a cybersecurity company is a strategic decision that can safeguard your company’s network. Providers such as TCI Technologies employ experts who understand the latest cyber threats and develop and implement defense strategies to help level the playing field.