It seems that world leaders have finally woken up to the ransomware problem. The new golden goose of the cybercriminal underworld, a ransomware attack locks victim organisations from their critical data, demanding a ransom payment for its return. Experts reckon most attacks go unreported, with companies meekly handing over the ransom to get back online. In doing so, they’re funding an increasingly audacious industry that’s more than willing to reinvest its earnings in better tech and personnel.

Joe Biden recently suggested the US and Russia sign an extradition treaty to curb this growing menace, enabling both countries to pluck troublesome cybercriminals from behind foreign computers and drop them before domestic courts. But things aren’t so simple. By showing us how ransomware attacks really work – involving a distributed suite of brokers, consultants and affiliates – a cybersecurity expert has exposed a key flaw in any extradition plan: who, exactly, would they arrest?

Another darling of cybercriminals, cryptocurrency continues to make waves in more conventional circles. So-called “crypto banks” are currently offering savings rates some ten times higher than what you can get on the high street – but you’d do well to heed advice about the risks of trusting them with your cash. And we’ve learned that white, fluffy aeroplane contrails are actually harming the climate, but that alternative fuels may soon help tackle the problem.

Alex King

Commissioning Editor, Science + Technology


Inside a ransomware attack: how dark webs of cybercriminals collaborate to pull one off

David S. Wall, University of Leeds

Ransomware has gone professional, with criminal consultants, affiliates and brokers – arresting them all will be difficult.

Big rates, not insignificant risks. Velishchuk Yevhen

Crypto banks’ savings rates are ten times greater than high street, but are they safe?

Matthew Shillito, University of Liverpool

Operators like BlockFi and Nexo offer rates that are north of 9%.


Contrails from aeroplanes warm the planet – here’s how new low-soot fuels can help

David Simon Lee, Manchester Metropolitan University

Soot from aeroplane exhausts can linger in the atmosphere, seeding ice clouds which trap heat.

Environment + Energy

Business + Economy

Politics + Society

Health + Medicine

Science + Technology

Arts + Culture


Featured events

Trust, Authority and the Automation of Expertise, Caroline Bassett, Cambridge University

Online, Birmingham, Warwickshire, B15 2TT, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland — University of Birmingham

Research Festival 2021

Online, Plymouth, Plymouth, PL4 8AA, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland — University of Plymouth

Reading Emotions Symposium: Gut, brain, and affect

University of Reading, Whiteknights, PO Box 217 , Reading , Reading, RG6 6AH, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland — University of Reading

Essex Summer School in Social Science Data Analysis (Online Event)

University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, Essex, CO4 3SQ, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland — University of Essex

More events

Contact us here to have your event listed.

For sponsorship opportunities, email us here