U.S. announces $10 million bounty for alleged LockBit ransomware creator

Russian national Dimitry Yuryevich Khoroshev was indicted and now has a $10 million bounty on his head over his alleged involvement with LockBit

May 08, 2024 10:09 am | Updated 10:09 am IST

Khoroshev is charged with 26 counts related to fraud, extortion and damage to protected computers [File]

Khoroshev is charged with 26 counts related to fraud, extortion and damage to protected computers [File] | Photo Credit: REUTERS

The U.S. Department of Justice has indicted Russian national Dimitry Yuryevich Khoroshev, 31, and announced a $10 million reward for any information leading to his apprehension.

Khoroshev is charged with 26 counts related to fraud, extortion and damage to protected computers, and the U.S. DOJ claimed that he allegedly served as the LockBit ransomware group’s developer and administrator from around September 2019 through May 2024.

“Khoroshev and his affiliate co-conspirators, grew LockBit into what was, at times, the most active and destructive ransomware variant in the world. The LockBit ransomware group attacked more than 2,500 victims in at least 120 countries, including 1,800 victims in the United States,” the U.S. DOJ noted, adding that at least $500 million was extracted in ransom payments from victims.

Ransomware attacks generally see hackers targeting users’ personal information/data and threatening to release this or sell it to malicious actors unless they pay a fee in exchange for having the stolen data deleted.

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However, the U.S. DOJ claimed that Khoroshev kept copies of data stolen from LockBit victims who had already paid the demanded ransom. This means they could be targeted again in the future.

He also allegedly received at least $100 million in digital currency through developer shares of LockBit ransom payments, said the DOJ.

“Today’s indictment of LockBit developer and operator Dimitry Yuryevich Khoroshev continues the FBI’s ongoing disruption of the LockBit criminal ecosystem. The LockBit ransomware group represented one of the most prolific ransomware variants across the globe, causing billions of dollars in losses and wreaking havoc on critical infrastructure, including schools and hospitals. The charges announced today reflect the FBI’s unyielding commitment to disrupting ransomware organizations and holding the perpetrators accountable,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray in the official statement.

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