What is Ransomware as a Service (RaaS)? Detailed 2024 guide

Ruheni Mathenge  - Streaming Expert
Last updated: January 1, 2024
Read time: 21 minutes

Ransomware as a Service is a lucrative money-making opportunity for cybercriminals that has wreaked havoc in the business world.


Ransomware as a Service (RaaS) is a sophisticated criminal business model that sells malicious software to enthusiastic rookie hackers. Less skilled hackers pay for subscriptions to use malicious programs through Bitcoin or other untraceable cryptocurrencies. The providers then share the profits affiliates, franchise, or even cut down a share of the ransom. Malicious malware is popular as it hands amateur hackers the power to bring down a big company to its knees with powerful ransomware such as Darkside RaaS, or Conti. Fortunately, business owners can prep their enterprises and cushion them from similar attacks.

Imagine sitting at your office desk; your computer screen just goes completely blank. A message from the blank screen pops up and breaks it to you in very crude English: “All your files have now been downloaded and encrypted.” The message continues to warn that you must pay a ransom to get the decryption key, or all your company secrets will be spilled on the dark web. Now, wake up from the imagination and face the reality of modern-day hacking — the ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS)!

Cyberattacks have become imminent over the last decade. Especially ransomware attacks significantly cripple thousands of medium businesses yearly, yet few people understand how RaaS runs or works.

While most common hackers worldwide are ordinary, creepy, nosy guys trying out malicious codes, the underworld can take a sophisticated business model. Ransomware developers sometimes lease out their malware products to lesser-skilled criminals who will then carry out the campaign. And that’s how Ransomware as a Service has become so rampant.

But what exactly is Ransomware-as-a-service? How does it work, and who sits at the apex of the hierarchy pyramid? How can you protect yourself from ransomware attacks? Our article digs deep into the underworld and lights up the dark web for you to see what exactly the criminals are doing. And most importantly, we recommend a few security tactics to keep you safe!

What is Ransom as a Service (RaaS)?