National Police Agency: Key Member of Global Hacking Group Arrested in International Probe

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The National Police Agency

A key member of the global hacker group calling itself “Ragnar Locker” has been arrested in Europe as part of an international joint investigation involving Japan and 10 other countries, the National Police Agency announced Saturday.

The individual is suspected of producing the malicious ransomware, also known as “Ragnar Locker,’ that targeted critical infrastructure in various countries and committing numerous cybercrimes.

In Japan, the group issued a “statement of responsibility” for an attack on the major video game company CAPCOM CO., LTD. in Osaka in 2020.

The investigation into the group included law enforcement authorities in the United States and the European Police Office, or Europol.

According to the National Police Agency, the man was residing in the Czech Republic when he was arrested by French authorities in Paris on Oct. 16. Authorities in the Netherlands and Sweden seized servers, and also succeeded in shutting down the “leak site” used to expose stolen information.

Since 2020, Japanese police have received reports of damage from several domestic companies, prompting investigations, leading them to join the international probe around October 2021. The National Cyber Unit of the NPA, established last year, conducted server analysis.