‘The Lockbit’ group says they are responsible for hacking Fulton County weeks ago

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. — For the past three weeks, Fulton County has suffered the aftereffects of a hack.

We became aware that cyber criminals had listed Fulton County as a victim on its dark web website,” said Fulton County Board of Commissioners Chairman Robb Pitts.

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Last week, LockBit claimed responsibility for the hack, posting what seemed to be personal information on their dark website.

The hackers gave Friday as a deadline for meeting their demands, but it’s unclear whether the county paid them off.

So, what is LockBit?

“They are an organization that thinks of ransomware as a franchising opportunity. They run it like a corporation,” said cyber security expert Vivek Menon.

“There are standards, there are procedures, you get hired, you go through an interview process,” said Joe Taveres, another cyber security expert.

According to Taveres and Menon, LockBit is one of the biggest names in Ransomware as a Service. In very simple terms, they create the malware that others (usually known as “affiliates”) can use to hack organizations.

“So essentially, they allow attackers to access a platform that allows them to deploy malware, steal records encrypt things, and take ransom on that,” Taveres said.

The Lockbit malware has become increasingly popular in recent years.

According to the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, Lockbit was the most used form of ransomware in the world in 2022.

In a 2023 news release, they found that US groups paid more than $90 million in ransom payments to LockBit in the US alone and said the organization accounted for around 1,700 cyber attacks since 2020.


The group has also been active in other countries.

“That’s an unprecedented scale that nobody in the world has been able to achieve previously,” Menon said.

The targets are often local governments, educational systems, hospital groups, or other organizations that may have important personal information.

“Their modus Operandi is which organizations would store sensitive data and which countries or organizations are on the hook from a legal point of view to protect that value,” Manon said.

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