Authorities Disrupt Major Ransomware Syndicate

Authorities Disrupt Major Ransomware Syndicate

( – US, UK, and European authorities worked together to successfully disrupt the operations of a massive global ransomware group.

Officials have been investigating LockBit, a syndicate that uses ransomware to coerce victims for large sums of money, for most of the group’s 5-year history. LockBit has reportedly extorted over $120 million during that time. Authorities have arrested suspects in Ukraine and Poland and have issued warrants for Russian citizens.

The National Crime Agency (NCA) of Britain spearheaded the operation. According to ABC News, Graeme Biggar, its director general, said the agency and its partners (including the FBI) successfully “hacked the hackers” before declaring that LockBit is now “locked out.”

LockBit is known for infecting computers and networks with ransomware, a type of software that locks users out of their computers unless they pay a ransom. It quickly grew to become the most prominent ransomware syndicate in history.

It’s able to spread effectively by giving its affiliates access to the software and allowing them to keep some of the ransom money. In many cases, the affiliates will threaten to sell or publicly release private documents if they are not paid. Hackers could use LockBit’s site on the dark web to become affiliates before it was shut down by authorities. The address now shows a banner published by the NCA confirming that the site is now under government control.

Ransomware has proven to be a damaging type of cybercrime. It has impacted individuals, governments, and large corporations and led to devastating losses around the world. The developers behind ransomware are often scattered across the world, especially in areas where US officials have little or no jurisdiction.

Still, that has not stopped the US government from offering a $15 million reward for information that can help them locate the syndicate’s leaders. The number of leaders and their locations are currently unknown.

The FBI is encouraging LockBit victims in the US to report systems that have been infected by LockBit. They said that it will help them determine how the software works and how different types of infected systems can be decrypted.

Copyright 2024,