Authorities identify person leading LockBit hacker group

Date:

The head of LockBit, which was considered the “world’s most prolific” hacker group and recently dismantled in an international operation, has been identified. Authorities believe he is Russian Dmitri Khoroshev, and the UK, US and Australia have imposed sanctions on him.

These sanctions target Russian national Dmitri Khoroshev who was identified, as part of an international investigation […], as one of the directors of LockBit, details the British government in a press release.

The LockBit group is responsible for extorting more than a billion dollars from thousands of victims around the world, London said.

Washington, for its part, indicates that it has taken sanctions against Dmitri Khoroshev for his role in the development and distribution of LockBit.

Russia continues to provide a safe haven for cybercriminals, where groups such as LockBit are free to launch cyberattacks against the United States and its allies and partners.

A quote from a Treasury spokesperson

The United States and its partners around the world are determined to dismantle the hacker ecosystem, including by revealing the identities of the perpetrators of cyberattacks against the United States, warned Brian Nelson, the deputy secretary of the Treasury responsible for terrorism and financial intelligence.

The administrator and developer of LockBit, a Russian national, is now subject to a series of asset freezes and travel bans, issued by the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada, said the European police agency Europol.

Data obtained from their systems showed that more than 7,000 attacks were carried out [by LockBit] between June 2022 and February 2024. The five most affected countries were the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and China, details Europol.

A reward for information about LockBit

The US Department of Justice has also unveiled an indictment targeting Dmitri Khoroshev, for his alleged role as creator, developer and administrator of the LockBit ransomware group from its creation in September 2019 until today.

After the dismantling of the group in February (new window), during an international operation, today we are going further, commented the Minister of Justice, Merrick Garland.

Also in Washington, the State Department announced a reward of up to US$10 million ($13.7 million Canadian) for information leading to the identification or location of anyone in a key leadership position. within the LockBit group.

An important roadmap

LockBit had targeted critical infrastructure and large industrial groups, with ransom demands of up to 100 million Canadian dollars.

From its inception in September 2019 until today, [it was] the most prolific hacker group in the world.

A quote from The U.S. Department of Justice

In 2023, LockBit notably attacked the British postal operator and a Canadian children’s hospital (new window). The group of thugs later apologized for this attack (new window). In France, the hospitals of Corbeil-Essonnes and Versailles, in the Paris region, were also targeted.

The hackers provided their affiliates with tools and infrastructure allowing them to carry out attacks. These consisted of infecting the victims’ computer network to steal their data and encrypt their files.

A ransom was demanded in cryptocurrencies to decrypt and recover the data, under penalty of publication of the victims’ data.

The international operation to dismantle LockBit brings together France, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Australia, Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States and Switzerland.

This article is originally published on /ici.radio-canada.ca

 

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