May 10, 2024

U.S. announces the designation of LockBit’s leader

On May 7, 2024, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control designated Russian national Dmitry Yuryevich Khoroshev, the leader of the LockBit ransomware group.  According to OFAC, Khoroshev is responsible for developing the LockBit ransomware, performing a variety of operational and administrative roles for the group, and benefiting financially from the group.  The United Kingdom and Australia have also designated Khoroshev.

In addition to the designation, the U.S. Department of Justice unsealed an indictment, and the Department of State offered a reward of up to $10 million for information leading to Khoroshev’s arrest and/or conviction.  According to OFAC, LockBit is one of the most active ransomware groups in the world, and has attacked more than 2,500 victims, including education and financial services infrastructure.  LockBit has also allegedly received more than $500 million in ransom payments.

Khoroshev’s U.S. designation was imposed pursuant to Executive Order 13694, as amended by EO 13757, for engaging in cyber-enabled activities originating from outside the United States and aimed at threatening U.S. national security, foreign policy or the economic health and stability of the United States.  As a result of this designation, all property and interests in property of the designated person within the United States or within the possession or control of a U.S. person are blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions involving a designated person.  Entities owned 50 percent or more by one or more blocked persons are also blocked.

U.S. Department of Treasury Press Release