Surface Laptop 4 Amd 2021 Keyboard LightsSource: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central

What you need to know

  • Ransomware has seen a spike in popularity amongst threat actors.
  • A new report from Sophos indicates the troubles are only set to expand.
  • Sophos attributes the rise in ransomware-related threats to elements such as cryptocurrency popularity and an evolution in ransomware distribution models and pressure tactics.

For those not familiar with the power of ransomware, it's worth looking back at the Colonial Pipeline situation from mid-2021, wherein part of the U.S.'s oil supply infrastructure was temporarily crippled virtually overnight by a group utilizing the malware type.

And don't think ransomware is only going after big targets. Threat actors make a habit of preying on unsuspecting businesses and individuals as well, should the promise of money be obvious enough. So when Sophos says the ransomware circuit is set to evolve, that's bad news for everyone.

According to the Sophos 2022 Threat Report, four major, blossoming ransomware trends have been identified.

  1. The ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) model isn't going anywhere anytime soon.
  2. Ransomware will remain a key ingredient in existing threat bundles of adware, spam, loaders, and more.
  3. Extortion efforts related to ransomware attacks will continue to raise the stakes in intensity and expand in variety.
  4. So long as crypto mining and cryptocurrencies remain popular, ransomware strikes will have ample fuel for their fire.

In other words, if you want to learn how to mine crypto or are investigating what the best GPUs for crypto mining are, be aware that you're moving into territory heavily targeted by ransomware aficionados. It's so heavily targeted by these sorts of threat actors, in fact, that the U.S. government has been whipping up sanctions for cryptocurrencies on the basis that they could stymie cybercriminal endeavors.

Shop Cyber Monday deals at: Amazon | Walmart | Best Buy | Microsoft | Dell

There's a lot more to the ransomware report than just these findings, so if you want the full scoop, check out Sophos' writeup to learn more about how the malware type threatens IT in particular. And if you're not afraid of ransomware and want to go all-in on Bitcoin or cryptocurrency in general, check out what El Salvador is up to.

We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.