US Offers $15 Mln For Info On LockBit Ransomware Leaders | #ransomware | #cybercrime

The U.S. Department of State has offered a reward of $15 million for information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of any individual participating in a LockBit ransomware variant attack and for information leading to the identification and/or location of any key leaders of the ransomware group.

The reward offer complements announcements by the Department of Justice and FBI with the United Kingdom’s National Crime Agency, along with other international partners, of a coordinated series of law enforcement actions aimed at disrupting the criminal organization.

Tuesday, the Treasury Department imposed sanctions on two Russian Lockbit affiliates who have been actively engaged in ransomware attacks.

Ivan Gennadievich Kondratiev is the leader of the LockBit affiliate sub-group, the National Hazard Society. Artur Sungatov is a Lockbit affiliate and has actively engaged in ransomware attacks.

“The United States will not tolerate attempts to extort and steal from our citizens and institutions,” said Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo. “We will continue our whole-of-government approach to defend against malicious cyber activities, and will use all available tools to hold the actors that enable these threats accountable.”

LockBit is a Russia-based cybercriminal group proposing ransomware as a service. Software developed by the group (also called ransomware) enables malicious actors who are willing to pay for using it to carry out attacks in two tactics where they not only encrypt the victim’s data and demand payment of a ransom, but also threaten to leak it publicly if their demands are not met.

The world’s most prolific ransomware, LockBit actors have executed since January 2020 more than 2,000 attacks against victims in the United States, and around the world, causing costly disruptions to operations and the destruction or exfiltration of sensitive information. More than $144 million was paid in ransom to hackers to recover from LockBit attacks.

Russia continues to offer safe harbor for cybercriminals such as LockBit to launch ransomware attacks against the United States, its allies, and partners. They target critical infrastructure, including hospitals, schools, and financial institutions. LockBit was responsible for the November 2023 ransomware attack against the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China’s U.S. broker-dealer.

by Joji XavierRTTNews Staff Writer

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