To position itself as the top ransomware group, LockBit ransomware operation has released ‘LockBit 3.0,’ introducing the first ransomware bug bounty program and leaking new extortion tactics and Zcash cryptocurrency payment options.
With the fall of the Conti ransomware group, LockBit has positioned itself as the top ransomware group operating today based on its volume of attacks in recent months. The release of LockBit 3.0 with the introduction of a bug bounty program is a formal invitation to cybercriminals to help assist the group in its quest to remain at the top. A key focus of the bug bounty program are defensive measures: Preventing security researchers and law enforcement from finding bugs in its leak sites or ransomware, identifying ways that members including the affiliate program boss could be doxed, as well as finding bugs within the messaging software used by the group for internal communications and the Tor network itself. The threat of being doxed or identified signals that law enforcement efforts are clearly a great concern for groups like LockBit. Finally, the group is planning to offer Zcash as a payment option, which is significant, as Zcash is harder to trace than Bitcoin, making it harder for researchers to keep tabs on the group’s activity.” — Satnam Narang, Senior Staff Research Engineer, Tenable