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Friday April 12, 2024

Lockbit cybercrime gang faces global takedown with indictments and arrests

US has charged two Russian nationals with deploying Lockbit ransomware against companies and groups around the world

By REUTERS
February 21, 2024
The logo of FBI can be seen on a building. — AFP/File
The logo of FBI can be seen on a building. — AFP/File

LONDON/NEW YORK: An international law enforcement operation led by Britain’s National Crime Agency and the FBI has arrested and indicted members of the Lockbit ransomware gang, in an unprecedented police operation that has struck one of the world’s most notorious cybercrime gangs.

The United States has charged two Russian nationals with deploying Lockbit ransomware against companies and groups around the world. Police in Poland and Ukraine made two arrests.

The NCA, US Department of Justice, FBI and Europol gathered in London to announce the disruption of the gang, which has targeted over 2,000 victims worldwide, received more than $120 million in ransom payments and demanded hundreds of millions of dollars, the DOJ said.

Britain’s National Crime Agency Cyber Division, with the US Department of Justice, the FBI and other law enforcement agencies seized control of websites used by Lockbit the gang and US and British authorities said. The agencies also took the unprecedented step of using Lockbit’s own website to release internal data about the group itself.

“We have hacked the hackers,” Graeme Biggar, director general of the National Crime Agency, told journalists. “We have taken control of their infrastructure, seized their source code and obtained keys that will help victims decrypt their systems,”