The cybersecurity sector of Sophos asserts that attacks like ransomware will prevail to avail digital currency. Over the past few years, cryptocurrency ransomware threat and attacks constituted 79% of all global cyber security breaches as per the report. These attacks, investigations, and remedies by the rapid response team of Sophos reveal that some of these threats target crypto investors via login screens and fake apps.
What Is Cryptocurrency Ransomware Threat?
Unlike other cyber threats, crypto ransomware is neither hidden nor subtle. Instead, it notably shows attractive messages to call attention to itself and clearly uses fear and shock to pressure the victim into paying for the ransom.
A few of this crypto ransomware do not operate on encryption at all, and just avail the threat of doing so to take the money. In most scenarios, the threat is actually conducted. Some of the notable cryptocurrency ransomware threats are:
- Trojan: W32/Petya.F
- Trojan-Downloader: JS/Locky
There are primarily two ways one user can encounter ransomware through links or files which are distributed through emails.
- Through links or files that are delivered via emails, instant text messages, or other networks.
- They are downloaded into the devices of the user by other threats like exploit kits or trojan downloaders.
Sophos Report On Cryptocurrency Ransomware Threat
The 2022 Threat Report by Sophos which was released last weekend, focuses to offer perspective on the trends and threats on security that the organization faces in 2022 and the threat scenario in 2021 along with the insight on the possible loopholes that can be easily breached in the upcoming days. The study discusses a mobile malware family that operated riot in 2021 which is known as Flubot as one of the significant banking trojans that affect the Android platforms. This is a recent crypto-malware ransomware attack.sophos-2022-threat-report
The malware offers users with fake digital currencies and banks app login screens to steal the password of the users for the services offered. Along with the robbing bank details, it also steals information like the list of contacts, which is then a spam the friends and associates of the victim with text messages that can further lead to Flubot infections.
Primarily the malware spreads via text messages and it imitates famous shipment tracking services from popular international package shipment services like FedEx, DHL, and UPS. The victim gets SMS notifications with an URL Link and sometimes an SMS that acts to be a voice mail message that arrives also with a web link.
Sophos also alerts on automated bonet threats and attacks like Mirai have received in prominence too over the past few years, turning into a vehicle of choice to offer crypto mining malware. These code bits infect varied corporate assets like IoT devices and servers, malicious players can avail the assembled processing power of hundreds and thousands of machines to mine digital currency and spread them to more and more devices. As per the report,
“As a method of evading sanctions, cryptocurrencies are well suited to the task, which may be why criminals based in regions of the world that remain under traditional economic sanctions exclusively deal in cryptocurrency. Beyond that, because cryptocurrency is anonymous, it can be difficult to determine where the money ends up.”
It further adds that,
“Sophos believes that the illicit use of cryptocurrency, both to evade sanctions and to obfuscate involvement in criminal activity, will continue to increase in 2022, with ransomware and crypto-jacking being the two most prominent ways that criminals can directly receive cryptocurrency payments from their victims.”
Consequences Of The Crypto Ransomware Threat
If the files that are affected have valuable information, encrypting them implies losing access to that data. If the data is vital to a business – for instance, patient’s data in a hospital, or payroll details in a finance company the damage of access can affect the entire entity.
If the files that are affected are used by the operating system of the device, encrypting them can prevent the device from operating properly. If the device is vital to the operations of a company, for instance, hospital medical equipment, a server, or industrial control system then the impact on the business can be vital as well. These are some crypto-malware examples.
Now a significant question may arise, why does ransomware use Bitcoin. This is because Bitcoin is presently the most famous and most used digital currency in the world. So it is easy for the attackers to target a large user base with a huge amount of funds.
In present years, there have been various cases of cryptocurrency ransomware threat spreading via the whole company networks, highly disrupting or even stopping normal business until the affected machines can be cleaned and the data can be recovered.
Should You Pay The Ransomware?
Crypto malware is also known as crypto ransom operates on the supposition that the user will be bothered enough at losing access to the data that they are ready to pay the demanded sum. The ransomware payment methods are mainly in cryptocurrency.
Law enforcement authorities and Security researchers, in general, strongly suggest that the victims abstain from paying the ransom. In some cases that have been reported, however, the cryptocurrency ransomware threat has been so troublesome that the affected entities and users choose to pay the ransom to recover the device access or data.
The Bottom Line
With each passing day and advancement in technology, loopholes in technology are also created. Malicious threats and ransomware attacks are increasing day by day and it is now most affected in the crypto space since everything there is operated via the internet which is prone to get hacked. Sophos made a 2022 Threat Report that deals with the impact and possibilities of cryptocurrency ransomware threat and their consequences in the future.