Police bust hacking gang Lockbit, leak identities online

Alex Omenye
Alex Omenye

The website of one of the world’s major criminal hacking groups, Lockbit was on Monday taken control of by law enforcement agents and being threatened with the exposure of personal details and data about their cybercrime organization.

Lockbit, infamous for utilizing ransomware to digitally extort victims, had its main website taken over by international law enforcement, mimicking the countdown clock the group used in extortion attempts and posing a $10 million challenge.

The revamped site displayed a series of countdown tiles, each marked with a timer that, upon reaching zero, would publish stolen data, replacing victim names with internal data obtained by hacking the hackers themselves.

This operation, the outcome of years-long international investigations, aimed to undermine Lockbit’s credibility in the criminal underground. Charles Carmakal, Mandiant Consulting’s CTO, warned Lockbit affiliates to be concerned, especially as law enforcement continues to provide decryptors to victims.

The United States charged two Russian nationals with deploying Lockbit ransomware, while arrests were made in Poland and Ukraine. Before being seized, Lockbit extorted multiple victims simultaneously through its website, garnering over $120 million in ransom payments.

The true cost, including organizational expenditures and business impact, is estimated to reach billions.

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