Compared to micro-payments, the 2008's monetization channel used by GPcode in terms of E-gold and Liberty Reserve accounts communicated over email -- with cases where the gang wasn't even bothering to respond to infected victims looking for ways to pay the ransom -- looks like a time-consuming and largely inefficient way to "interact" with the victims.
The DIY ransomware is offered for sale at $100, with the typical "value-added" services in the form of managed undetected binaries through crypting. Since the command and control interface is web based (php+mysql), the author is actively experimenting with new features such as scheduled appearing of the ads, inventory of banners and affiliate program links, and the ability to use multiple SMS numbers next to multiple unlocking codes.
Are the currently active ransomware "vendors" trendsetters or are they still in experimental mode?
The business model of SMS-based ransomware is clearly lucrative, especially in situations where cybercriminals are known to combine two or three different monetization tactics. However, compared to the high profit-margins which cybecriminals earn through the scareware business model, SMS-based ransomware remains a developing market segment.
6th SMS Ransomware Variant Offered for Sale
5th SMS Ransomware Variant Offered for Sale
4th SMS Ransomware Variant Offered for Sale
3rd SMS Ransomware Variant Offered for Sale
SMS Ransomware Source Code Now Offered for Sale
New ransomware locks PCs, demands premium SMS for removal
Who's Behind the GPcode Ransomware?
Identifying the Gpcode Ransomware Author
This post has been reproduced from Dancho Danchev's blog.