UK and allies sanction leader of Russian ransomware group | #ransomware | #cybercrime

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The U.K., U.S., and Australia announced sanctions on the Russian leader of the cyber-crime gang, LockBit, the U.K.’s National Crime Agency (NCA) announced on May 7.

Lockbit has become one of the most prolific ransomware groups in recent years, carrying out 3,000 cyberattacks in the U.S. and Europe and resulting in losses of billions of euros. The sanctions will target Dmitry Khoroshev, a Russian national who has been identified as one of the senior leaders of Lockbit.

The NCA announced in February that it had taken control of Lockbit’s services, allowing it to infiltrate the group’s network. Ukraine’s National Police arrested two men in Ternopil Oblast suspected of involvement with Lockbit. The agency previously described Lockbit as the “world’s most harmful cybercrime group,” having targeted “thousands” of victims in ransomware attacks.

Lockbit was reportedly responsible for 25% of ransomware attacks globally last year, targeting thousands of victims, including over 200 Ukrainian businesses. The group conducted a mass online campaign, illegally stealing and using sensitive data to steal billions of dollars from businesses and individuals.

According to the director of the U.K.’s National Crime Agency, General Graeme Biggar, Dmitry Khoroshev offered $10 million to anyone who could reveal his identity.

“Dmitry Khoroshev thought he was beyond reproach, even offering $10 million to anyone who could reveal his identity, but these actions dispel that myth,” Biggar said. “Our investigation into LockBit and its affiliates continues and, working with our international partners, we’ll do everything we can to undermine their operations and protect the public.”

The announcement comes only hours after the U.K. Defense Ministry was struck by a cyberattack, likely carried out by Chinese hackers.

Chinese and Russian-linked hacking groups have been accused of launching cyberattacks on a number of European governments and institutions, such as the U.K.’s Sellafield nuclear waste site.

Police arrest 2 suspected affiliates of international cyber crime group Lockbit

Two men suspected of involvement in the international cybercriminal group Lockbit were arrested in Ternopil Oblast, Ukraine’s National Police reported on Feb. 21.

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National Cyber Security