Researchers examine the marketing strategy Janus Cybercrime Solutions uses to raise awareness of Petya and Mischa.
Researchers examine the marketing strategy Janus Cybercrime Solutions uses to raise awareness of Petya and Mischa.

Janus Cybercrime Solutions, the cybergang behind the Petya and Mischa ransomwares, has an established marketing strategy complete with identifiable branding and an affiliate program that rewards others for marketing the ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) and makes it easy for the IT-savvy average Joes to distribute malware, according to a Sept. 23 blog post penned by Avast researchers.

Researchers noted that a 15 percent commission taken from affiliates helps pay for the customer support team and other features that help the product stand out.

To help distinguish itself, Petya was first characterized by a red skull displayed above the ransom note instructing victims on how to retrieve their files and latter changed the color to green along with matching visuals complete with hammer and sickle for the Janus, Petya, and Mischa logos.

The cybergang also promotes its product on Twitter.