A recent report presented recently by IT-security company Carbon Black stresses a 2,500 % increase in the ransomware Dark Net industry, matched against the previous year.

The study supports numerous forecasts expressed by the majority of info-security specialists a year ago who said ransomware would likely have an essential role in all types of cyber-crime and get the biggest market share.

To collect information for this report, experts scanned the Dark Net for communities and sites offering and advertising all ransomware related products and services.

Researchers found approximately 6,200 spots where criminals had offered their services with the help of more than 44,000 ads.

Rates are varying greatly, from $1 to $4,000. The price variance is determined by different economic models crooks select to sell their goods. Some charge on a per-sample basis when others prefer monthly subscription plans.

Comparing 2016 and 2017, the ransomware economy has exploded from $250,000 to $6,230, 000, a rate of 2,500%, researchers note in their report. These extortion schemes get enormous ransom payouts that totaled in $1B in 2016. Earlier in 2015, it was $24M.

Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS) is the main driving force of the ransomware economy. Big and small RaaS portals started to appear in early 2017. These RaaS sites are all different and each works in its price niche. For instance, you can find RaaS portals offering all-in-one solutions. Some portals offer only minimal number of services. Finally, there are individual sellers who offer just the ransomware code.

Multi-function RaaS services provide the ransomware executable file itself, they also offer delivery mediums like botnets and exploit kits. In addition, you can get a payment portal to manage ransoms. On top of that, you can rent customer support team. All of this is available from a convenient web-based admin panel.

Reduced service RaaS sites supply the ransomware file, and just a couple of the services above, typically at more affordable prices.

Finally, there are private sellers who are virus writers. They sell just the ransomware file and allow clients to manage the rest. Some ransomware writers earn more than $150,000 a year. That is much more than the standard salary of a legal software developer.