On January 25, 2024, the leader of the Russian-speaking ransomware gang LockBit announced a reward for information on the identity of the head of Clop, another Russian ransomware gang. The latter is thought to have led a cyberattack against Russian security services giant, Ansecurity, in January of 2024.
In Russia, the Kremlin lets cybercriminals operate as they please so long as they only target Western entities and spare Russian or allied organizations. According to the head of LockBit, the Clop boss broke this rule “to settle a stupid and ridiculous score,” following a ban from a renowned cybercriminal forum.
“Anyone who has information on him will be rewarded. Anyone at the FBI or FSB (Russian domestic intelligence, editor’s note) who knows his identity can also give me the info before arresting him; I’m sure someone knows his identity because he was a regular on the forums,” explains the cybercriminal, determined to make his “colleague” pay for the betrayal.
The head of LockBit also challenged all hackers to uncover information on his own identity. He claimed he was prepared to offer between one and ten million dollars (between 0.92 and 9.2 million euros), i.e. “more than the FBI,” for any relevant information. Even though LockBit is the most active ransomware gang in the world, its leaders’ identities remain a well-kept secret.