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Global law enforcement effort cracks down on LockBit ransomware group

A screenshot taken on February 19, 2024 shows a take down notice that a group of global intelligence agencies issued to a dark web site called Lockbit.
Handout
/
via Reuters
A screenshot taken on February 19, 2024 shows a take down notice that a group of global intelligence agencies issued to a dark web site called Lockbit.

Law enforcement officials from 11 countries have joined forces to disrupt the activities of a major cybercrime group.

Among those in the community of cybersecurity researchers, the group, known as Lockbit, is considered one of the most dreaded, most prolific and often most harmful team of cybercriminals. The Department of Justice says Lockbit made over $120 million by holding victims' data for ransom.

Lockbit sells access to its destructive malware so that clients can launch ransomware attacks, holding victims' data hostage in exchange for payment. If victims don't pay, the group often dumps sensitive data publicly in what's known as double extortion.

The UK's National Crime Agency says it has taken control of the group's internal servers as well as its public website. Two arrests have been made — in Ukraine and in Poland. The group is already threatening to rebuild, but this operation should severely hamper their capabilities to launch attacks for the time being.

Copyright 2024 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Jenna McLaughlin
Jenna McLaughlin is NPR's cybersecurity correspondent, focusing on the intersection of national security and technology.