LockBit ransomware site seized by law enforcement | #ransomware | #cybercrime

The criminal group has been linked to various high-profile cyberattacks and appears to have been disrupted by an ongoing operation.

The notorious LockBit ransomware gang has suffered a severe disruption thanks to an international operation consisting of various authorities.

The gang’s data leak website has been seized by the National Crime Agency (NCA) of the UK, working in cooperation with the FBI and an international task force. That’s according to a screenshot of the seized website being shared on social media.

The website notice says that LockBit’s services were disrupted thanks to an “ongoing and developing operation. The international task force has been dubbed Operation Cronos.

A joint press release is expected to be released later today (20 February) containing more information. A spokesperson of the NCA also confirmed the disruption of LockBit’s operations to Bleeping Computer.

A screenshot shared on X also suggests that a message from the NCA appears on the LockBit affiliate panel, warning users of the panel that data on the gang’s activities has been taken by the task force.

LockBit is a ransomware-as-a-service group that claimed responsibility for various high-profile data breaches in recent years. The gang claimed responsibility for a cyberattack on Royal Mail last year, which made the UK postal service temporarily unable to send items overseas.

LockBit has also been linked with the massive Moveit hack last year, which affected organisations around the world including Ireland and the UK. By mid-2023, it emerged that several US state agencies, banks and universities were also victims of this hack.

In November 2023, The US arm of one of China’s biggest banks – ICBC – confirmed that it was investigating a ransomware attack. A Bloomberg report claimed this ICBC attack could be traced to the LockBit ransomware group.

It appears operations against ransomware groups have been ramping up recently. Towards the end of 2023, an international operation managed to seize the web leak site belonging to the ransomware hacker gang ALPHV, also known as BlackCat.

A report by Corvus Insurance claimed ransomware activity grew in 2023, but also noted that  significant law enforcement activity disrupted the ransomware ecosystem towards the end of 2023.

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National Cyber Security