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Cyber sanction imposed on Russian citizen for ransomware activity

Cybercrime through the Internet.

For the second time, Australia utilises its autonomous cyber sanctions framework under the Autonomous Sanctions Act 2011 (Cth) to impose a targeted financial sanction and travel ban on Dimitry Yuryevich Khoroshev.

Dimitry is a Russian citizen who played a key role in the LockBit ransomware group. LockBit was responsible for 18% of reported ransomware incidents in Australia in 2023. There was a total of 119 reported victims associated with LockBit’s attacks, causing significant financial harm. LockBit has also attacked the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States (US).

As part of Operation Chronos, the Australian Signals Directorate and Australian Federal Police coordinated with the UK and US to track Dimitry and establish his leadership role in LockBit. Under the autonomous cyber sanctions framework, it is a criminal offence to provide assets to Dimitry or to use or deal with his assets. This is intended to disrupt the offenders’ cyber activity and limit opportunities for ransomware attacks.

The Minister for Cyber Security, Clare O’Neil, emphasised that this “sanction is an important step in breaking the ransomware business model, preventing cybercriminals from profiting from attacks on Australian citizens and businesses.” She went on to further say that “for too long, criminals like those behind LockBit have hidden in the shadows. Our government is changing that. Hunting down cyber criminals by working with our international partners to hack the hackers and punishing them where we can.”

For a full reading of the media release, see here.

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