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US offers $10 million reward for help catching LockBit ransomware mastermind

by Gus Iversen, Editor in Chief | May 09, 2024
Cyber Security
The U.S. Department of Justice has unveiled charges against Dmitry Yuryevich Khoroshev, a Russian national accused of orchestrating the notorious LockBit ransomware attacks.

Khoroshev is implicated in creating and managing the ransomware from September 2019 to the present. During this period, LockBit emerged as one of the most active ransomware groups globally, targeting over 2,500 entities in 120 countries, including the U.S.

LockBit's attacks have impacted various sectors, including healthcare, education, and critical infrastructure, leading to substantial financial and operational disruptions. The Justice Department estimates that the attacks have extorted approximately $500 million in ransom payments and caused billions in additional losses.

In a significant legal development, a grand jury in the district of New Jersey issued a 26-count indictment against Khoroshev. The charges encompass conspiracy to commit fraud and related computer and wire fraud offenses, with penalties potentially totaling up to 185 years in prison.

This legal action follows a concerted international effort earlier this year, led by the U.K. National Crime Agency and the U.S. FBI, which notably disrupted LockBit operations. This collaborative effort resulted in the seizure of key infrastructure used by the ransomware group, diminishing its capabilities significantly.

The U.S. Treasury has also moved to sanction Khoroshev, further restricting his financial operations globally. Concurrently, the U.S. State Department has offered a reward of up to $10 million for information leading to Khoroshev's capture, underscoring the high priority placed on apprehending cybercriminals.

This case highlights the ongoing challenges and complexities in tackling cybercrime, emphasizing the necessity for robust international cooperation and persistent efforts to prosecute those responsible for significant cyber threats.

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