The New York Times has a long story on the DarkSide ransomware gang.
A glimpse into DarkSide’s secret communications in the months leading up to the Colonial Pipeline attack reveals a criminal operation on the rise, pulling in millions of dollars in ransom payments each month.
DarkSide offers what is known as “ransomware as a service,” in which a malware developer charges a user fee to so-called affiliates like Woris, who may not have the technical skills to actually create ransomware but are still capable of breaking into a victim’s computer systems.
DarkSide’s services include providing technical support for hackers, negotiating with targets like the publishing company, processing payments, and devising tailored pressure campaigns through blackmail and other means, such as secondary hacks to crash websites. DarkSide’s user fees operated on a sliding scale: 25 percent for any ransoms less than $500,000 down to 10 percent for ransoms over $5 million, according to the computer security firm, FireEye.
Read more: schneier.com