US sanctions Russian ransomware leader, offers $10M reward | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware

The United States has revealed the supposed leader of crypto-ransomware group LockBit and is offering a $10 million bounty to anyone who can out key leaders from the hacking group. 

The US Treasury Department outed Dmitry Yuryevich Khoroshev as the primary leader of Russia-based LockBit in a sanction issued today.

According to US authorities, Khoroshev is behind the ‘LockBitSupp’ moniker and helped upgrade and manage LockBit. It also shared his Bitcoin crypto address: bc1qvhnfknw852ephxyc5hm4q520zmvf9maphetc9z.

Malware-focused account vx-underground, however, claims that LockBit issued a statement to the FBI that reads, “The FBI is bluffing, I’m not Dimon, I feel sorry for the real Dimon))) oh, and he’ll get fucked for my sins))).”

Vx-Underground additionally reports that Khoroshev’s information, including his address and food order history, was exposed, and that he has a fondness for Cheesecake Factory.

Today’s US sanction included a $10 million reward to anyone with information that may reveal the identity of LockBit’s key leaders. In addition, the government is offering $5 million to anyone with information that can lead to the arrest of anyone involved with LockBit ransomware. 

The US worked alongside the UK and Australia to investigate LockBit.

Read more: LockBit countdown disappoints viewers with vague hints and a cartoon cat

What is LockBit?

LockBit runs a ransomware-as-a-service model that generates funds by licensing its ransomware tools to fellow cybercriminals while taking a cut of their exploits. 

The US states, “[LockBit] has targeted over 2,500 victims worldwide and is alleged to have received more than $500 million in ransom payments,” while attacking “financial services, food and agriculture, education, emergency services, and healthcare.” 

Last February, 200 crypto addresses linked to LockBit were frozen, and its site was seized by authorities, including the FBI, Europol, and the UK National Crime Agency.  

In the same month, authorities teased the announcement of LockBit’s leader and left users a little underwhelmed when its announcement revealed little more than a cartoon cat and the car he drove.

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National Cyber Security