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Lockbit Under Siege: $15 Million Bounty in Police Crackdown


February 22, 2024

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Lockbit Under Siege: $15 Million Bounty in Police Crackdown

The notorious Lockbit ransomware gang has found itself yet once more in the crosshairs of international law enforcement.

After the gang saw its website being seized and turned against them, the US government offered a $15 million bounty for information leading to the capture, arrest, or conviction of the gang’s members.

Website Seized, Data Exposed, Bounty Offered

On Monday, a joint law enforcement operation led to the seizure of Lockbit’s website, which was then re-engineered to replace its menacing countdown – originally designed to terrorize the gang’s victims with the threat of releasing their stolen data – with a stark warning against the perpetrators.

Once the countdown expired, the website revealed information from nearly 200 Lockbit affiliates who registered with the gang’s malicious service over the past two years. These entities operate independently from the gang but acquire Lockbit’s services in exchange for a portion of the ransom paid by extorted victims.

Ukrainian Police Arrested Two Suspected Lockbit Affiliates

To highlight the operation’s success, Ukrainian police revealed the arrest of a father-son duo allegedly linked to the gang. While Ukraine’s police service didn’t disclose the suspects’ identities, they announced the seizure of more than 200 cryptocurrency accounts and 34 servers spanning Australia, Germany, Finland, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the United States, and Britain.

$15 Million Bounty for Tips on Lockbit Members

Now, the US Department of State has said in a statement that it’s offering up to $15 million for information that could lead to the arrests and convictions of the ransomware group’s leaders.

“The Department of State is announcing reward offers totaling up to $15 million for information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of any individual participating in a LockBit ransomware variant attack and for information leading to the identification and/or location of any key leaders of the LockBit ransomware group,” reads the State Department’s press statement.

Third Recent $15 Million Reward for the Pursuit of Ransomware Gangs

The bounty against Lockbit is the third reward the US Department of State has offered in three weeks. On Feb. 8, the government announced a similar bounty for information leading to the capture of members associated with Hive, another notorious ransomware operation.

A week later, the State Department posted another $15 million bounty for tips that could lead to the arrest or conviction of key ALPHV/Blackcat ransomware gang members.

The Danger Still Lurks

The addition of the $15 million bounty to the pursuit of Lockbit members and affiliates adds insult to injury for a gang already reeling from significant operational setbacks. However, the threat is far from over, as cybercriminal syndicates' resilience and capability to regroup and adapt to law enforcement tactics is not to be underestimated.

Specialized tools like Bitdefender Ultimate Security can safeguard your devices and assets against ransomware attacks and other digital threats, including phishing attacks, viruses, worms, Trojans, spyware, zero-day exploits, and rootkits.




Vlad's love for technology and writing created rich soil for his interest in cybersecurity to sprout into a full-on passion. Before becoming a Security Analyst, he covered tech and security topics.

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