International investigation services take down the websites of the infamous hacker gang Lockbit

Lockbit, the major criminal organization that extorts ransoms from international companies and institutions with ransomware, has been tackled during a “joint operation” by the American and British security services and international police forces. Lockbit’s websites on the dark web have been taken offline or requisitioned, according to screenshots distributed by Reuters news agency on Monday. Nothing is yet known about possible arrests.

Lockbit became active in 2019, probably by Russian hackers, and has quickly grown into an aggressive hacker gang that managed to break into the largest Chinese bank, American healthcare services and also numerous Dutch organizations, such as the KNVB. The internet criminals stole valuable data and used it to extort companies. “Lockbit is perhaps the largest ransomware gang today,” Reuters quotes a cybersecurity analyst.

The joint operation of the security and police services is still in full swing, the authorities report. The Dutch police also contribute.

Consequences unknown

It is not yet clear how hard Lockbit was hit by ‘Operation Cronos’. The authorities speak of a “disruption”. Partners of the hacker gang who try to log in to Lockbit will receive a message in which the security services announce that they have seized the Locbit platform “and all information stored on it”. “You can use Lockbitsupp [de vermeende leider van Lockbit] thank you for the flawless infrastructure. We may contact you very soon…”

According to Reuters, Lockbit itself said on an encrypted messaging service that it has backup servers and that they have not been affected by the internationally coordinated operation.