LockBit Ransomware Group demands $200 million ransom from Boeing


Boeing, the aviation giant, renowned for its manufacturing of airplanes for both defense and commercial purposes, fell victim to a ransomware cyber attack in October 2023. It has now come to light that the hackers behind the attack demanded a staggering $200 million in exchange for a decryption key and the deletion of 42GB of data stored on LockBit’s servers.

This revelation emerged as the FBI, in a collaborative effort with UK Europol and Australia’s NCSC, initiated a joint operation to identify and prosecute Dmitry Yuryevich Khorshev, the alleged owner of LockBit gang, also known by the alias LockBitSupp.

Boeing made the announcement following an indirect disclosure by the FBI, acknowledging that a prominent aircraft manufacturer had been targeted by the ransomware group in the third quarter of the previous year. When approached for further comments, the company redirected media inquiries to law enforcement agencies and pledged to provide updates shortly.

The trend of cyber criminals stealing data and extorting victims for ransom has become increasingly common. However, the demand for $200 million sets a new precedent in the realm of ransomware crime, showcasing the audacity of cyber criminals.

Refusing to acquiesce to such demands could potentially undermine the confidence of cyber criminals and deter them from profiting through illicit means. Furthermore, there’s no guarantee that paying the ransom will result in the receipt of a decryption key.

Recently, another ransomware spreading group dubbed ALPHV/BlackCat demanded $22 mil-lion from Change Healthcare. And after the law enforcement tried to disrupt its IT infrastructure, another ransomware gang dubbed RansomHUB issued a re-warning to the victim demanding $15 million.

Whether these groups are interconnected and if the subsequent demands are strategic maneuvers to extract more from the victims remain unclear.

From a humanitarian perspective, targeting the healthcare sector is tantamount to an act of war, as both scenarios result in the suffering of innocent lives.

Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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