GandCrab Claims Supremacy: Most Prevalent Ransomware in the World Reaches 50% Market Share

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Ransomware drains billions from the global economy each year and shows no signs of slowing down. However, the highest cost of a ransomware attack is no longer the ransom itself. Today, the bulk of the financial damage consists of downtime, tarnished reputations and regulatory fines.

In our free whitepaper – The Evolution of Ransomware in 2018 – we discuss how ransomware operators are becoming better at their craft. In a notable trend, the number of overall infections dropped compared to the year before, but targeted attacks increased as ransomware operators switched to more lucrative techniques and campaigns. Driving the shift from one-off hacks to organized crime were several key ransomware families, including SamSam and GandCrab. GandCrab took the limelight in the second half of 2018 with a 50% share.

GandCrab campaigns are operated as-a-service -- the attacker is an “affiliate” in the program and has complete control over the spreading mechanisms that lead to infection.

The crustacean-themed ransomware started claiming victims as early as January but only really showed its claws in the second half of 2018, demanding exorbitant ransom sums, up to $700,000 in some cases. While other families dominate the scene in terms of span and number of infections, none made more profit for its authors than GandCrab. Bitdefender telemetry also shows that GandCrab operators were at the peak of their activity in October.

Depending on operational structure and business model, some organizations cannot recover from a ransomware attack without significant losses. For some businesses, ransomware can spell bankruptcy. For others, it means years of effort to recover. The progressively dangerous nature of ransomware highlights the importance of deploying a multilayered defensive framework to protect critical data and the IT infrastructure.

Download our free whitepaper for an overview of the ransomware scene today, as well as a closer look at GandCrab’s anatomy.