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Windows ransomware LockBit makes the jump to Linux

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Surface Laptop 4 Amd 2021 Keyboard Lights (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Ransomware and Windows go together like bread and butter.
  • Though Windows is the primary recipient of ransomware efforts, Linux is getting more and more strains of the threat itself.
  • Now LockBit, an irksome danger on the Windows side of computing, has made its Linux debut.

First, they came for Windows. Then, for Tux. As cool as Linux is, it's increasingly becoming a target for ransomware-friendly cyber criminals intent on ruining people's days.

Linux isn't beating out Windows anytime soon in market share, but it's still popular enough to attract bad guys. Case in point: LockBit has hopped ship, no longer content to torment just Redmond. Based on a report from Trend Micro Inc. (opens in new tab), Linux users who encounter the ransomware can expect the variant tailored to their OS to log the following information:

  • Processor information
  • Volumes in the system
  • Virtual machines (VMs) for skipping
  • Total files
  • Total VMs
  • Encrypted files
  • Encrypted VMs
  • Total encrypted size
  • Time spent for encryption

You can check out Trend Micro's full report for the ins and outs of what LockBit for Linux is made of, but the overall point is that though Windows is a magnet for ransomware, fewer safe havens exist in general these days.

The rise of ransomware means cybercriminals are coming for everyone no matter what operating system they prefer. Though, for now, some are choosing Chrome OS to avoid threats as much as possible.

Malware's always been a problem, but ransomware especially has been a hot commodity in recent memory, so much so that the U.S. government has elected to eyeball sanctions on cryptocurrency to stem the flow of successfully facilitated ransomware schemes. Hide your e-wallets, hide your penguins; they're holding everybody for ransom out here.

Robert Carnevale is the News Editor for Windows Central. He's a big fan of Kinect (it lives on in his heart), Sonic the Hedgehog, and the legendary intersection of those two titans, Sonic Free Riders. He is the author of Cold War 2395. Have a useful tip? Send it to robert.carnevale@futurenet.com.

2 Comments
  • I doubt that any modern OS is much more secure than other OSes. I think it's mainly about where hackers focus their efforts and (limited) resources.
    So it makes sense for hackers to prioritize targeting the OS with the largest user base, which in turn makes this OS seem more vulnerable.
  • Wow, now computer viruses are jumping across species.