Yara Bayoumy

Yara Bayoumy is an Information Systems Masters student at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. She earned a Bachelors Degree in Computer and Communication Engineering from Alexandria University in 2015 and then proceeded to work as a Software Engineer for 5 months.

Her personal intellectual curiosity stems from the secretive attribute of the Dark Net. Not much is known and people’s impressions of it is greatly influenced by what is presented by mainstream media. This research is supervised by Professor Guttorm Sindre of NTNU and Senior Research Scientist Per Håkon Meland of SINTEF.

The development and distribution of ransomware is stimulated by social networks active in the Dark Net. From the cyber criminal perspective, this is an ideal platform to participate in a
business ecosystem, either as an author, vendor or distributor of ransomware. Studying the activities taking place within the Dark Net sites and monitoring cryptomarket sales of Ransomware-as-a-Service can improve our situational awareness on upcoming threats and how we can defend against them. With the help of external datasets of the cryptomarkets of the Dark Net and field notes, a thorough netnographic study was devised. The results and observations stemming from our study include an overview of the stakeholders involved in the Ransomware-as-a-service value chain, analysis of the social interactions and the timeline of the major events affecting the underground economy of ransomware. Examples: What happened when Dream Market was compromised by law enforcement agencies in Nov. 2017? How much do you need to invest in ransomware before you can attack someone? How do anonymous users collaborate on the Dark Net? How has the sales of illegal goods and services advanced to
ransomware-as-a-service?