LockBit Leader Revealed: Most Active Hacking Ransomware Gang Ever

The UK's National Crime Agency (NCA) has revealed the identity of the leader of one of the most famous hacker groups

by Sededin Dedovic
LockBit Leader Revealed: Most Active Hacking Ransomware Gang Ever
© CyberNews / Youtube channel

In his online life known as LockBitSupp, he is alleged to be the leader of one of the most notorious hacker ransomware groups in the world – LockBit, and in real life, his name is Dmitriy Khoroshev. This was revealed this week by the National Crime Agency of the United Kingdom (NCA), and now there is a possibility that his group could be further emboldened by this move and potentially find new victims again.

LockBit gained global popularity for holding data of hacking victims for ransom as well as providing ransomware services by licensing other malicious software to other hackers. According to Europol, the law enforcement intelligence agency of the European Union, Khoroshev's group was behind the most widespread ransomware in the world in 2022, causing damage amounting to billions of euros.

Among the victims of the LockBit group are high-profile ones such as the American aerospace giant Boeing, the British Royal Mail, and the German automotive giant Continental. However, Russian entities are noticeably absent from this list, which is not surprising given that the alleged leader of this group is Russian, Khoroshev.

NCA claims that Khoroshev was the administrator and programmer of the LockBit hacker network, and authorities also suspect that he has previously organized mass online support for former US President Donald Trump. A task force from the agency infiltrated the platform through which the LockBit group operates and disrupted the operations of this cyber gang, disrupting the "basic platform and critical infrastructure" of the group's functioning, according to Europol.

Just a few days later, the group's leader posted on the dark web blaming his "personal carelessness and irresponsibility" for the infiltration. Khoroshev was so confident in his anonymity that he once promised a reward of $10 million to anyone who could uncover his identity.

By revealing his face, NCA has unmasked him, but it's almost certain that the monetary reward will be forfeited. The agency also hopes that revealing Khoroshev's identity will lead to evidence of his whereabouts. "NCA has obviously hit a number of dead ends in its investigations, and revealing the leader of the LockBit group will potentially restart a bunch of new leads," said Jake Moore, a global cybersecurity adviser at the Slovak software company ESET, to TNW.

US authorities have also promised up to $10 million in reward for information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of Khoroshev.