An infamous cybercriminal group said Thursday it had hacked the French Justice Minister and encrypted its files, asking for a ransom payment in return for the data.
The Lockbit 2.0 ransomware gang added the French Ministry of Justice to its list of victims it publishes on a data leak site. The listing, seen by POLITICO, said the ministry has until February 10 to pay a ransom or else “all available data will be published” on the dark web site.
Cybercriminals using Lockbit 2.0 traditionally threaten to publish data from victims who don’t pay the ransoms it demands in order to put extra pressure on them, in a technique called “double extortion.”
“The ministry of justice has become aware of the alert and immediately took steps to carry out the necessary checks, in conjunction with the relevant competent departments,” a spokesperson said in a statement, without providing further information about the operation’s scale.
Other French organizations have been targeted with the malware in the past. Earlier this month the group published data from French defense and security firm Thales on its website, and the site also contains data from French energy Schneider Electric dated December 2021.
The group has been more active in targeting organizations and companies since the summer, cybersecurity firm Trend Micro reported in August.
France’s cybersecurity agency (ANSSI) did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
Samuel Stolton contributed reporting.
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