LockBit ransomware indictment and reward for Russian

LockBit ransomware indictment and reward for Russian

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Dmitry Yuryevich Khoroshev, Russian citizen and one of the leaders of LockBit.

Courtesy: U.S. Department of the Treasury

Federal prosecutors on Tuesday announced criminal charges against a Russian citizen, Dmitri Yuryevich Khoroshev, for allegedly founding, developing and managing the ransomware-as-a-service group LockBit.

At the same time, the US State Department offered a $10 million reward for information leading to the arrest and detention of Khoroshev, a 31-year-old from Voronezh, Russia.

The Treasury Department also imposed sanctions on Khoroshev, freezing all property and interests he owns in the United States or owned by Americans.

The Justice Department said the LockBit group led by Khoroshev was at one point “the most prolific ransomware group in the world,” targeting more than 2,000 victims, most of them in the United States, with more than $500 million in ransomware -Stolen payments and caused billions of dollars more in major losses, including lost revenue.

LockBit’s ransomware-as-a-service model licensed its software to other cybercriminals in return for payments that included a percentage of the ransom paid by victims, which included “individuals, small businesses, multinational corporations, hospitals, schools, nonprofits organizations, critical infrastructure, and government and law enforcement agencies,” the DOJ said.

Khoroshev, who also goes by the names LockBitSupp, LockBit and putinkrab, was indicted in U.S. District Court in New Jersey on a 26-count indictment that accuses him of personally reaping at least $100 million from the group’s victims . According to authorities, he typically received 20% of each ransom payment.

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The charges were dropped on Tuesday, three months after law enforcement in the United Kingdom, working with the Justice Department, the FBI and other international agencies, seized public websites used by LockBit and took control of servers run by administrators of the group were used.

The Justice Department said LockBit infrastructure seized by law enforcement in February showed “that Khoroshev retained copies of data stolen from LockBit victims who paid the demanded ransom.”

Khoroshev is the sixth LockBit member to be charged with crimes related to the group. One of them, Ruslan Magomedovich Astamirov, is in custody awaiting trial in federal court in New Jersey, while another, Mikhail Vasilyev, is in custody in Canada awaiting extradition to the United States

Khoroshev is charged with conspiracy to commit fraud, extortion and similar computer-related activities; conspiracy to commit wire fraud; intentional damage to a protected computer; extortion of confidential information from a protected computer; and extortion related to damage to a protected computer.

If convicted, he faces a maximum of 185 years in prison.

“The LockBit ransomware group represented one of the most widespread ransomware variants around the world, causing billions of dollars in losses and devastating critical infrastructure, including schools and hospitals,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said in a statement.

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2024-05-07 19:45:45