Dutch police help take down ransomware gang Lockbit | #ransomware | #cybercrime

The infamous ransomware group Lockbit has been taken offline in a joint operation by the United States and United Kingdom intelligence services, Europol, and international police forces, including the Dutch police. Locbit’s website now shows a message saying: “The site is now under the control of law enforcement.”

“This site is now under the control of the National Crime Agency of the UK, working in close cooperation with the FBI and the international law enforcement task force, ‘Operation Cronos,’” the message reads. “We can confirm that Lockbit’s services have been disrupted as a result of International Law Enforcement actions – this is an ongoing and developing operation.”

In addition to the Dutch police, the post names the police forces in France, Japan, Canada, Switzerland, Australia, Sweden, Germany, and Finland. The Dutch authorities have not yet confirmed the operation.

Lockbit has hacked into some of the world’s largest organizations in recent months. In the Netherlands, it attacked the Dutch football association KNVB. According to cyber security firm Fox-IT, dozens of Dutch companies have also fallen victim to the hacker group.

The hackers break into their victims’ computer systems and infect them with ransomware – a type of malware that encrypts data and denies users access to their files. Lockbit makes money by demanding extortionate ransoms to decrypt the data with a digital key. It also threatens to leak sensitive files if victims don’t pay the ransom.

Lockbit is generally believed to be Russian, though the taken down site stated that the group was “located in the Netherlands, completely apolitical, and only interested in money,” Reuters reported.

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