US Indicts Leader of Prolific LockBit Ransomware Gang | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware

(Bloomberg) — The leader of one of the most prolific ransomware gangs was indicted and sanctioned by the US government on Tuesday, the latest effort by law enforcement authorities to crack down on rampant cybercrime.

Dmitry Yuryevich Khoroshev, a 31-year-old Russian national, was the “administrator and developer” behind the LockBit ransomware gang from its inception in 2019 to the present, according to US officials. Khoroshev, whose identity hadn’t previously been made public, remains at large, and the State Department offered a $10 million reward for information leading to his arrest or conviction.  

He was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit fraud, extortion and related activity connected with computers, one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, eight counts of intentional damage to a protected computer, eight counts of extortion in relation to confidential information from a protected computer, and eight counts of extortion in relation to damage to a protected computer, the Justice Department said in a statement. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 185 years in prison.

The Treasury Department also sanctioned Khoroshev, who goes by the online name “LockBitSupp.”

“The LockBit ransomware group represented one of the most prolific ransomware variants across the globe, causing billions of dollars in losses and wreaking havoc on critical infrastructure, including schools and hospitals,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said in a statement. “The charges announced today reflect the FBI’s unyielding commitment to disrupting ransomware organizations and holding the perpetrators accountable.”

The action is the latest attempt from law enforcement agencies to disrupt the activities of LockBit, a prolific hacking gang that has extorted millions of dollars in payments from its victims. Since 2020, the group has targeted thousands of companies, including the Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, Boeing Co. and the UK’s Royal Mail.


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