Federal authorities make arrests in global LockBit ransomware scheme

On Tuesday, federal authorities apprehended multiple suspects following the discovery of over 2,000 cybercrime victims both domestically and internationally — with 1,000 of them identified in the U.S. alone last year.

The Russian-based ransomware group LockBit, initially flagged in 2019, has been identified as the perpetrator, according to authorities. The group infiltrates computer systems, encrypting personal data and extorting ransom payments from victims. The FBI reports having collected $120 million in ransom money.

Victims of LockBit's attacks include hospitals, schools, and financial institutions. Cybersecurity expert Pete Nicoletti emphasized the need to cease ransom payments and implement improved security measures to combat such attacks.

LockBit is recognized as one of the most widespread ransomware variants globally, posing a challenge for law enforcement efforts to apprehend all perpetrators, as noted by former FBI agent Ross Rice.

Security experts advise individuals to opt for credit card payments over debit, exercise caution when clicking on links, and enable multifactor authentication to bolster online security.

While the culprits behind the recent system failure at Lurie Children's Hospital remain unidentified, LockBit has previously claimed responsibility for a cyberattack at St. Anthony Hospital in Little Village last December. Federal authorities have announced efforts to dismantle this global criminal operation.

Furthermore, an indictment reveals that the cybercriminals allegedly offered a reward of $1,000 to anyone willing to tattoo the LockBit logo on their body. Victims of LockBit attacks can explore possible decryption solutions at https://lockbitvictims.ic3.gov/.