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Update: Prosecutors arrest Lockbit members | Network Week

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Update: Prosecutors arrest Lockbit members |  Network Week

Prosecutors have succeeded in striking a blow against the Lockbit ransomware group. Several arrests were made during the operation, in which Swiss authorities also took part. The authorities also confiscated numerous keys that Lockbit used to encrypt their victims’ data.

Update from February 21, 2024: Europol has published new details on the international operation “Operation Chronos” against the Lockbit ransomware gang. As a result of the month-long operation, prosecutors were able to take over and shut down 34 servers belonging to the criminal hacker group. These are located in the Netherlands, Germany, Finland, France, Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom and Switzerland. Furthermore, two Lockbit members were arrested in Poland and Ukraine. French and US authorities issued three international arrest warrants and five indictments.

Authorities froze over 200 cryptocurrency accounts that Lockbit used for transactions. Lockbit’s IT infrastructure is now in the hands of the British National Crime Agency (NCA), it is said. That agency notes that it also found data from victims who had paid a ransom to the threat actors on the seized systems. This proves that there is no guarantee that data will be deleted even if a ransom is paid.

According to the statement, there are also over 1,000 encryption keys in the data treasure confiscated by the police, which the cybercriminals used to encrypt their victims’ data. With the find, we are now in a position to help Lockbit victims decrypt their data, writes the NCA. And Europol announces Lockbit decryption tools on the “No More Ransom” Portal to switch on.

“We have damaged the capabilities and, above all, the credibility of a group that relied on secrecy and anonymity,” said NCA Director General Graeme Biggar. “Our work does not end here. Lockbit may attempt to rebuild their criminal enterprise. However, we know who they are and how they operate. We are persistent and will not stop targeting this group and anyone associated with them to target.”

Original message from February 20, 2024:

Law enforcement officers take over the Darknet presence of the Lockbit ransomware group

Prosecutors have succeeded in striking a hard blow against the Lockbit ransomware gang. They managed to use the darknet

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Prosecutors have succeeded in striking a hard blow against the Lockbit ransomware gang. They managed to take over the cybercriminals’ darknet site, like “Bleeping Computer” reported. Anyone who visits this site now will be informed that the site is now controlled by the United Kingdom Police Department, which in turn is working closely with the US FBI and the international law enforcement operation “Operation Chronos”. The National Crime Agency (NCA) confirmed to Bleeping Computer that it had disrupted Lockbit services as part of an ongoing international operation.

As Bleeping Computer writes, citing an alleged Lockbit member, the FBI was able to take over the servers by exploiting a PHP vulnerability.

Finally, the portal quotes from a message written by the prosecutors to the hackers. It states that they have taken control of the Lockbit platform including all data stored there. This includes source code, details of the victims and the amounts of money extorted, stolen data and chats.

Sea “Watson” Swiss authorities are also taking part in “Operation Chronos”. Specifically, Zurich authorities have provided legal assistance.

The list of Lockbit victims is long. In January 2024, a Swiss rental company for construction equipment came into the crosshairs of hackers, as you can read here. Last year it hit, among other things the Royal Mail of the United Kingdom.

Last year the police were able to successfully take action against Lockbit and a young Russian bring to court. Here you can read more about it.

If you would like to read more about cybercrime and cybersecurity, Sign up for the Swisscybersecurity.net newsletter here. On the portal you can read daily news about current threats and new defense strategies.

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