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Saturday, October 21, 2023

Europol Dismantles Ragnar Locker Ransomware Infrastructure, Nabs Key Developer

Ragnar Locker Ransomware

Europol on Friday introduced the takedown of the infrastructure related to Ragnar Locker ransomware, alongside the arrest of a “key goal” in France.

“In an motion carried out between 16 and 20 October, searches have been carried out in Czechia, Spain, and Latvia,” the company mentioned. “The primary perpetrator, suspected of being a developer of the Ragnar group, has been introduced in entrance of the inspecting magistrates of the Paris Judicial Court docket.”

5 different accomplices related to the ransomware gang are mentioned to have been interviewed in Spain and Latvia, with the servers and the info leak portal seized within the Netherlands, Germany, and Sweden.

The trouble is the most recent coordinated train involving authorities from Czechia, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Latvia, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Ukraine, and the U.S. Two suspects related to the ransomware crew have been beforehand arrested from Ukraine in 2021. A yr later, one other member was apprehended in Canada.

Ragnar Locker, which first emerged in December 2019, is thought for a string of assaults focusing on vital infrastructure entities the world over. In response to Eurojust, the group has dedicated assaults in opposition to 168 worldwide corporations worldwide since 2020.

“The Ragnar Locker group was identified to make use of a double extortion tactic, demanding extortionate funds for decryption instruments in addition to for the non-release of the delicate knowledge stolen,” Europol mentioned.


Ukraine’s Cyber Police mentioned it carried out raids at one of many suspected members’ premises in Kyiv, confiscating laptops, cellphones and digital media.

The regulation enforcement motion coincides with the Ukrainian Cyber Alliance (UCA) infiltrating and shutting down the leak website run by the Trigona ransomware group and wiping out 10 of the servers, however not earlier than exfiltrating the info saved in them. There may be proof to recommend that the Trigona actors used Atlassian Confluence for his or her actions.

Simply because the dismantling of Hive and Ragnar Locker represents ongoing efforts to sort out the ransomware menace, so are the initiatives undertaken by risk actors to evolve and rebrand below new names. Hive, as an illustration, has resurfaced as Hunters Worldwide.

The event comes as India’s Central Bureau of Investigation, primarily based on data shared by Amazon and Microsoft, mentioned it raided 76 areas throughout 11 states in a nationwide crackdown geared toward dismantling infrastructure used to facilitate cyber-enabled monetary crimes resembling tech help scams and cryptocurrency fraud.

The train, codenamed Operation Chakra-II, led to the seizure of 32 cellphones, 48 laptops/arduous disks, photographs of two servers, 33 SIM playing cards, and pen drives, in addition to a dump of 15 e-mail accounts.

It additionally follows the extradition of Sandu Diaconu, a 31-year-old Moldovan nationwide, from the U.Okay. to the U.S. to face costs associated to his function because the administrator of E-Root Market, a web site that supplied entry to greater than 350,000 compromised pc credentials worldwide for ransomware assaults, unauthorized wire transfers, and tax fraud.


The web site, which went operational in January 2015, was taken down in 2020 and Diaconu was arrested within the U.Okay. in Might 2021 whereas making an attempt to flee the nation.

“The E-Root Market operated throughout a broadly distributed community and took steps to cover the identities of its directors, patrons, and sellers,” the U.S. Division of Justice (DoJ) mentioned this week.

“Consumers may seek for compromised pc credentials on E-Root, resembling RDP and SSH entry, by desired standards resembling value, geographic location, web service supplier, and working system.”

In a associated regulation enforcement motion, Marquis Hooper, a former U.S. Navy IT supervisor, was sentenced to 5 years and 5 months in jail for illegally acquiring 9,000 U.S. residents’ personally identifiable data (PII) and promoting it on the darkish internet for $160,000 in bitcoin.

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