The Lockbit 2.0 ransomware gang announced Thursday it had hacked France’s Ministry of Justice’s systems and threatened to release the files stolen unless France government meets its demand. The infamous cybercriminal group said it has encrypted the stolen files and now asking for a ransom payment in return for the data.
Formerly known as “ABCD” ransomware, the LockBit is a new ransomware attack in a long line of extortion cyberattacks designed to block user access to computer systems in exchange for a ransom payment.
The group also added the French Ministry of Justice to its list of victims it publishes on a data leak site. The group gives France’s Ministry of Justice until February 10 to pay a ransom or else “all available data will be published” on the dark website. France’s cybersecurity agency (ANSSI) has yet to provide comments on the breach.
LockBit is a type of ransomware known as a ‘crypto virus’ due to forming its ransom requests around financial payment in exchange for decryption. The Lockbit 2.0 ransomware gang’s primary focus is mostly on enterprises and government organizations rather than individuals.
“The ministry of justice has become aware of the alert and immediately took steps to carry out the necessary checks, in conjunction with the relevant competent departments,” a spokesperson said in a statement, without providing further information about the operation’s scale.
France’s Ministry of Justice is not the only victim. The ransomware group has targeted other French organizations with malware in the past. As we reported in the summer of last year, a hacker group used the same Lockbit ransomware to hack consulting giant Accenture. The group later published about 2,400 files to the Dark Web after the company failed to comply with their demands.
A hacker group using Lockbit Ransomware says they have hacked the consulting firm Accenture and will release data in several hours, CNBC has learned. They are also offering to sell insider Accenture information to interested parties.
— Eamon Javers (@EamonJavers) August 11, 2021
In recent months, Lockbit 2.0 ransomware gang has been very active in targeting organizations and companies since the summer, cybersecurity firm Trend Micro reported in August.
NEW: Cyberattackers claim to have breached the Ministry of Justice’s systems of France and are threatening to make public the files stolen from the government organisation.
— Insider Paper (@TheInsiderPaper) January 28, 2022