In an age where solutions like cloud, mobility, storage and security are offered as part of service models, it is to no surprise that malware also has its service offering, aptly called Malware-as-a-Service (MaaS)?
Of course, there’s a misnomer in the name itself — unlike the other solutions, malware isn’t really of any kind of service to the end-user. It’s the opposite — malware is likely to cause serious damage and information loss to enterprise systems.
Malware on sale to the highest bidder
The Malware-as-a-Service model is a result of the current evolution of solutions & services being offered through external parties. We have previously written about “script kiddies” who buy packaged malware exploits from black markets or the dark web and run their payloads to make profits. This is the Malware-as-a-Service model in a nutshell where ‘Darknet’ markets offer different varieties of malware exploits for sale to interested bidders.
An example of this model was the GandCrab ransomware exploit, which was covered in detail in a Seqrite blog article. This exploit spread through malicious email campaigns and emerged as a service offering on hacking websites. It was distributed like a proper business service with the developers of the malware keeping a percentage of the ransom amount that was collected.
There are three key levels in the MaaS model. Let’s understand each of them:
First level: Developers of Malware
These are the elite-level experts who are masters of cybercrime. They keep experimenting and creating highly developed malware using different techniques with an added emphasis on zero-day exploits.
Second level: Sellers & Distributers of Malware
The individuals involved at this level are concerned with the selling and distribution of the malware created by expert developers. Like salesmen selling a product or a service, they try and market their malware to sellers using the most convincing means. As part of their sales pitch, they may offer access to botnets or other hosts, to make it easier to distribute their malware products.
Third level: Buyers of Malware
Everyone who wants to buy malware can be classified into this level. They may involve cybercriminals without the necessary technical knowledge to carry out exploits on their own, security agencies from nation-states aiming to buy malware to study it or to use it against enemy states or even cybersecurity researchers. This is a grey market where even script kiddies or those without any technical knowledge can carry out full-fledged attacks by buying malware.
The Malware-as-a-Service model is dangerous for enterprises as it reduces the amount of effort and knowledge for threat actors to carry out cyberattacks. Enterprises need to ensure the security of their systems by deploying a well-structured and powerful security program, using a variety of solutions.
Stay safe against malware by using enterprise security solutions offered by a leader in this domain, Seqrite. From endpoint security on the cloud, encryption to a full range of solutions for managing mobility needs & network and server security, Seqrite continues to be a leader in cybersecurity solutions, as certified by AV-Test.