NEW DELHI: Ransomware, fueled by cryptocurrency, was implicated in 79% of worldwide cybersecurity events in the past 18 months of the pandemic, driven by Conti and REvil ransomware assaults, according to a new analysis released on Monday.
According to researchers from global cyber security firm Sophos, cryptocurrency will continue to feed cybercrime such as ransomware and criminal cryptomining, and the pattern will persist until global cryptocurrencies are better regulated.
The ransomware landscape will grow more modular and consistent in the coming year, with attack “specialists” offering different aspects of an assault “as-a-service” and playbooks containing tools and methodologies that allow different adversary organisations to perform relatively identical attacks.
Some of the year’s most high-profile ransomware assaults used ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS), including an attack on Colonial Pipeline in the United States by a ‘DarkSide’ affiliate.
An associate of the Conti ransomware revealed the operators’ implementation guide, showing the step-by-step tools and procedures that attackers might employ to launch the ransomware.
“Ransomware flourishes because of its capacity to adapt and innovate,” Sophos principal research scientist Chester Wisniewski stated.
“By 2021, RaaS developers will have spent their time and efforts developing sophisticated code and figuring out how to get the most money from victims, insurance companies, and negotiators,” Wisniewski said in a statement.
During the year 2021, Sophos researchers discovered cryptominers like Lemon Duck and MrbMiner, which took advantage of newly-reported vulnerabilities and targets already penetrated by ransomware operators to install cryptominers on computers and servers.
According to the analysis, ransomware perpetrators’ use of different kinds of extortion to push victims into paying the ransom is predicted to continue and grow in scope and intensity.
“It’s no longer enough for businesses to think they’re safe by monitoring security tools and making sure they’re detecting dangerous code,” Wisniewski added.
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