Cyber Criminal Gang's Website Seized by Law Enforcement

122
2
Cyber Criminal Gang's Website Seized by Law Enforcement

A prominent online platform responsible for offering services to compromise computer networks and extort ransom payments has been seized by law enforcement authorities. The website, operated by a major criminal organization, allowed individuals to orchestrate ransomware cyber attacks by holding data hostage. On Monday evening, a message surfaced on the website, asserting that it is now under the control of law enforcement agencies, including the National Crime Agency of the UK, working in partnership with the FBI and an international law enforcement task force called 'Operation Cronos.' The message indicated that the situation is an ongoing and developing operation, with a promise to provide more information at a specific time on Tuesday.

The joint effort by the UK's National Crime Agency, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation, Europol, and other international police agencies successfully took control of the website belonging to the criminal group responsible for executing ransomware cyber attacks. The UK's National Cyber Security Centre, in partnership with agencies from the US, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and New Zealand, had previously issued a warning regarding the persistent threat posed by the group. The warning highlighted that the group's eponymous software, LockBit, was the most widely deployed ransomware variant globally in 2022 and has continued to be prolific in 2023.

The criminal gang, known as LockBit, has been linked to numerous high-profile cyber attacks, including the penetration of the UK's Royal Mail in the early months of 2023. The group and its affiliates profit from stealing sensitive data and threatening to disclose it unless the victims comply with their ransom demands. LockBit was initially identified in 2020 and was believed to have originated from Russia, based on its emergence on Russian language forums, according to Reuters.