DarkSide, the hacking group behind the recent Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack, has a business model that is more familiar than many think, according to New York Times correspondent Andrew Kramer

“It operates something of a franchise where individual hackers can obtain and use the ransomware software, as well as use DarkSide’s reputation, so to speak, to extract money from their targets, mostly in the United States,” Kramer said in one Interview that aired Wednesday night.

Ransomware is a type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer system. Hackers demand a ransom payment in return for restoring access. Colonial reportedly paid DarkSide a ransom of $ 5 million.

Kramer told CNBC The News with Shepard Smith that the franchise business model enables hackers to have significantly less computer skills than they used to need because they can get pre-built software from DarkSide.

“You make a small part of it and you can buy the rest off the shelf,” said Kramer.