Global operation smashes ‘most harmful cybercrime group’

LONDON: An international operation led by the UK and US law enforcement agencies has severely disrupted “the world’s most harmful cybercrime group”, the Russian-linked ransomware specialist LockBit, officials announced on Tuesday.


LockBit and its affiliates have targeted governments, major companies, schools and hospitals, causing billions of dollars of damage and extracting tens of millions in ransoms from victims.


Britain’s National Crime Agency (NCA), working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Europol and agencies from nine other countries in Operation Cronos, said it had infiltrated LockBit’s network and taken control of its services.

We have hacked the hackers, we have taken control of their infrastructure, seized their source code, and obtained keys that will help victims decrypt their systems,” NCA director general Graeme Biggar told reporters in London.


LockBit and its affiliates hacked govts, major firms, extracted tens of millions in ransoms from victims


LockBit’s website — selling services that allow people to organise cyberattacks and hold data until a ransom is paid appears — was taken over on Monday evening.


A message appeared on the site stating that it was “now under control of law enforcement”.

As of today LockBit is effectively redundant, LockBit has been locked out,” Biggar said.


The US Justice Department (DOJ) said the agencies had seized control of “numerous public-facing websites used by LockBit to connect to the organisation’s infrastructure” and taken control of servers used by LockBit administrators.

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