US offering rewards for information on leaders of ransomware group

The United States Recruitment A reward is being offered for information regarding the leader of the LockBit ransomware group.

LockBit is a syndicate that has been active since 2019. Accounting for 23% of the nearly 4,000 attacks worldwide last year, ransomware criminal organizations posted stolen data from victims to extort payments, according to cybersecurity firm Palo Alto Networks. According to the Associated Press.

“The State Department is offering up to $15 million in total rewards for information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of individuals who participated in the LockBit ransomware variant attacks, as well as information leading to the identification and/or location of key leaders. LockBit ransomware group,” said State Department spokesman Matthew Miller. Said in a statement Wednesday.

“Since January 2020, LockBit attackers have carried out more than 2,000 attacks against victims in the United States and around the world, causing costly business interruptions and the destruction or exposure of sensitive information.” Miller’s statement continued. “Over $144 million in ransoms paid to recover from LockBit ransomware events.”

Mr Miller’s statement follows a new announcement by the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) on Tuesday about the destruction of the Rockbit group, with the help of international law enforcement agencies, including the FBI.

NCA Director-General Graham Biggar said the agency’s investigation, along with other international partners, was a “ground-breaking disruption to the world’s most harmful cybercrime group”.

“Through close cooperation, we hacked the hackers. We took control of the infrastructure, seized the source code, and obtained keys to help victims decrypt their systems,” Biggar said in the release. .

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland also said that U.S. and British law enforcement agencies are “taking over the keys to criminal investigations.”

“And we are going one step further. We have also obtained keys from the seized LockBit infrastructure to assist victims in decrypting their captured systems and regaining access to their data,” Garland said. he said, according to the release. “LockBit is not the first ransomware variant that the U.S. Department of Justice and its international partners have dismantled. It will not be the last.”

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