Ransomware Group Hacker Arrested in Paris as Part of International Investigation Between 11 Countries

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The National Police Agency

French authorities in Paris on Oct. 16 arrested a man for his alleged role in producing ransomware which has targeted the critical infrastructure of various countries, the National Police Agency announced Saturday.

The man, who resides in the Czech Republic, was arrested as part of a joint investigation involving 11 countries, including Japan, the United States and the European Union’s law enforcement agency, Europol.

According to the NPA, the man was a core member of the hacker group Ragnar Locker, which wrote the virus that bears the same name. Osaka-based game software giant Capcom Co. was hit by the ransomware in 2020. The hacker group later claimed responsibility for the attack.

Japanese police opened an investigation after receiving several inquiries from domestic companies, and joined the international investigation around October 2021. A computer server was analyzed by the NPA’s cyber special investigation unit, which was established last year.

In addition to the arrest, authorities in the Netherlands and Sweden seized the server and successfully shut down a website that published stolen data.