LockBit countdown disappoints viewers with vague hints and a cartoon cat

A police countdown promising to reveal the identity of the kingpin behind the crypto-ransomware group LockBit left spectators disappointed after it revealed only a handful of vague clues and a cartoon picture of a cat.

Police seized the LockBit website this week before beginning the online countdown that it was claimed would eventually answer the ‘$10 million question,’ who is LockBitSupp? This is the online nickname for LockBit’s leader. 

However, anybody hoping for some grand reveal will likely have been left massively underwhelmed when, after a slight delay, authorities posted, “We know who he is. We know where he lives. We know how much he is worth. LockBitSupp has engaged with Law Enforcement :).”

Alongside the cartoon cat, police also posted a series of not-particularly-enlightening hints, namely that LockbitSupp doesn’t live in the US or the Netherlands, and that he drives a Mercedes.

A screenshot of the reveal, including a smirking cat said to be an emoji popular with the LockBit administrative staff. 

Read more: Finnish police can’t find suspected bitcoin blackmailer they just released

LockBit operates a ransomware-as-a-service that encrypts the data of its victims before demanding a crypto ransom for its release. This week 200 crypto addresses linked to LockBit were frozen and their site seized by authorities, including the FBI, Europol, and the UK National Crime Agency.  

According to malware-focused X (formerly Twitter) account vx-underground, LockBit is reportedly preparing a “formal reply to law enforcement once they’re finished restoring their infrastructure.” Vx-underground also claims that affiliates of LockBit have continued to deploy their ransomware operations.

LockBit reveal was an anticlimax

Understandably, today’s reveal didn’t live up to everyone’s standards, with many spectators led to believe that the countdown would reveal the definite identity of LockBitSupp. As Joe Tidy, the BBC’s cyber crime reporter put it, “That was a bit (a lot) of an anticlimax.” 

He posted, “Police teased all week that they would release the identity of LockBit’s head honcho today. 31,000 people visited the darknet page with a countdown timer to be met with…. a cat cartoon…”

Other users said, “They had us waiting all that time for this? I expected something juicy,” while another complained, “Great, any non-us non-neather [sic] citizen [sic] that drives a Mercedes is a target 🤣🤣🤣.”

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