Researchers pinpoint ransomware gangs’ ideal enterprise victims

Researchers with threat intelligence company KELA have recently analyzed 48 active threads on underground marketplaces made by threat actors looking to buy access to organizations’ systems, assets and networks, and have found that at least 40% of the postings were by active participants in the ransomware-as-a-service supply chain.

Unsurprisingly, companies in developed countries such the US, Canada, Australia and European countries are preferred targets, while organizations based in countries that are members of the Commonwealth of Independent States are generally avoided – most likely because the threat actors are based in some of those countries and wish to avoid local law enforcement focusing on them.

“The average minimum revenue wanted by ransomware attackers is 100 million USD, with some of them stating that the desired revenue depends on the location. For example, one of the actors described the following formula: revenue should be more than 5 million USD for US victims, more than 20 million USD for European victims, and more than 40 million USD for ‘the third world’ countries.”

Not all of the requests for access are made by ransomware gangs.

“The similarities between ransomware-related actors’ requirements for victims and access listings and conditions for IABs illustrate that RaaS operations act just like corporate enterprises. They form ‘industry standards’ with a blacklist of sectors and countries, define their ‘clients’ revenue and geography, and offer a competitive price for threat actors supplying them the desired”goods,'” Kivilevich concluded, and advised companies to perform regular cybersecurity awareness and training, vulnerability monitoring and patching, and targeted and automated monitoring of key assets.

Despite these findings, it’s good to keep in mind that cyber criminals and ransomware gangs are also finding ways into organizations themselves.

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