FBI takes control of Lockbit’s site after ransom request amid Fulton County hack

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — The hacker group referred to as ‘Lockbit’, one of the biggest hack groups in the world, held Fulton County data for ransom after a cyberattack weeks ago.

And now, just days after the deadline to pay, international law enforcement has disrupted Lockbit’s operations and taken control of their site.

Lockbit accounts for a quarter of the ransomware market and they know how to wreak havoc. The East Roswell Library computers haven’t worked in weeks.

But now, ‘Lockbit,’ who said they’re responsible for the hack in Fulton County, could cease to exist.

“I would say months for sure. Probably they would’ve started last year or the year before that unprecedented coordination,” said Vivek Menon, cyber security expert.

The takedown of the ransomware group was likely in the works for months according to cyber security experts.

“The fact that agencies across the U.K., U.S., and other countries came together to take Lockbit down is a pretty big deal. The cascading effect of that is it will dissuade other ransomware service providers from going down this route,” said Menon.

At last word:

  • Only 1/3 of county phone services had been restored
  • The property tax system was still not able to take electronic payments
  • Water bills couldn’t be paid online
  • The County Justice was without its systemwide technology system

The county called the incident financially motivated but never said if they paid a ransom.

With the seizure of ‘Lockbit,’ it’s unclear what happened to any leaked information.

“I think it’s difficult to say what this means for them at this point because the information if it had been leaked already by Lockbit then its out there and not much can be done to bring it back and protect it and so on,” said Menon.

But for now, the ransomware giant, accounting for 25% of the market appears to have been wiped away.

“The way this was achieved was they took down their back-end infrastructure. So not only was it Lockbit but all the affiliates that work with Lockbit got shut down and impacted as well,” said Menon.

This is far from the end of ransomware. However, this was the most organized group, run like a corporation.

This takedown will likely deter others who hope to operate at this level.

The FBI says they will release more info Wednesday.





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