Russians Named as West Smashes Lockbit Ransomware Gang | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware


The United States has issued an indictment for two Russians allegedly behind the notorious Lockbit ransomware gang, which was severely disrupted early this week by a rare international cyber operation.

The cyber division of Britain’s National Crime Agency (NCA) infiltrated the cybercrime group’s systems and stole its data, before taking down Lockbit’s site on the dark web.

The UK agency – working with the FBI, European police, the US Department of Justice, and other enforcement partners – posted news of its breakthrough on the Lockbit site (seen above) and revealed of their joint operation to the press on Tuesday.


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The US indictment was made public as American, British and other international law enforcement partners gathered in London to announce the strike against the notorious cybercrime gang, which has targeted over 2,000 companies and groups worldwide.

Lockbit is alleged to have received more than $120 million in ransom payments and demanded hundreds of millions of dollars, US officials said.

The gang’s high-profile targets include Britain’s Royal Mail, which was hit in January last year, while another well-publicized attack on the Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) office in Washington caused a major scare in the financial world late last year.


‘Online backbone of Lockbit destroyed’

“Working alongside partners in the United Kingdom and around the world, we have now destroyed the online backbone of the Lockbit group, one of the world’s most prolific ransomware gangs,” Deputy US Attorney General Lisa Monaco said.

“But our work does not stop here: together with our partners we are turning the tables on Lockbit — providing decryption keys, unlocking victim data and pursuing Lockbit’s criminal affiliates around the globe.”

Obtained in New Jersey, the unsealed indictment charges Artur Sungatov and Ivan Kondratyev, also known as Bassterlord, with using Lockbit ransomware to target victims in manufacturing, logistics, insurance and other companies in five states and Puerto Rico, as well as in semiconductor and other industries around the world.

Additional criminal charges against Kondratyev were unsealed on Tuesday related to his use of ransomware in 2020 against a victim in California, the Justice department said.


  • Reuters with additional input and editing by Jim Pollard




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