Russian National Arrested

LockBit has become the most reputable ransomware group in recent times. The method by which they operate differs from other ransomware groups. LockBit recruits people as affiliates for deploying ransomware inside organizations.

The U.S. Department of Justice announced on Thursday, 15th June 2023, that they had arrested an individual who deployed LockBit ransomware against the United States, Asia, Europe, and Africa.

EHA

Ruslan Magomedovich Astamirov, 20, a citizen of the Chechen Republic, was accused of computer attacks and ransomware deployments from August 2020 to March 2023.

Ransomware Deployments & Financial Frauds

In addition, Astamirov was involved in wire fraud and directly executed a minimum of 5 attacks in the United States and abroad.

This has become the second arrest by the FBI related to LockBit ransomware in the last six months.

The evidence seized from Astamirov included a variety of email addresses, IP addresses, and other online provider accounts used for deploying LockBit ransomware and communicating with victims.

Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco stated that, β€œIn securing the arrest of a second Russian national affiliated with the LockBit ransomware, the Department has once again demonstrated the long arm of the law. We will continue to use every tool at our disposal to disrupt cybercrime, and while cybercriminals may continue to run, they ultimately cannot hide.”

LockBit Ransomware Attacks

LockBit ransomware was initially discovered in January 2020 and has conducted around 1400 attacks making around $100 million in just three years.

Astamirov has been charged with Wire fraud and intentional damage to protected systems for ransom payments.

Investigations are being done, and if convicted of wire fraud, he might face a maximum of 20 years in prison.

If convicted of Damage to protected systems for ransom payments, he might face a maximum of 5 years in prison with a fine of $250,000 or twice the loss (the highest one is chosen).

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Gurubaran is a co-founder of Cyber Security News and GBHackers On Security. He has 10+ years of experience as a Security Consultant, Editor, and Analyst in cybersecurity, technology, and communications.