LockBit Hackers Set a Ransom Deadline to Release Donald Trump Documents From Georgia Case

By Jace Dela Cruz

Feb 29, 2024 07:43 AM EST

Hacking group LockBit has issued a ransom demand to prevent the release of documents related to the criminal case against former President Donald Trump in Georgia. 

Donald Trump Holds Primary Night Event In Columbia, SC
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COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA - FEBRUARY 24: Republican presidential candidate and former President Donald Trump speaks during an election night watch party at the State Fairgrounds on February 24, 2024 in Columbia, South Carolina. South Carolina held its Republican primary today.

Hacking Group LockBit Threatens to Publish Court Documents Related to Donald Trump Case

According to Business Insider, LockBit, responsible for taking down Fulton County's websites in Georgia last January, is threatening to publish documents from the state's court system, including those related to Donald Trump's criminal lawsuit, unless it gets paid a ransom.

The hacking group initially set a March 2 deadline for the payment but later moved it to February 29 at 8:49 a.m. ET. The exact amount the hackers demanded remains unclear, as demands typically occur privately for ransom payment.

In a message posted on a new website Saturday, the hacking group said the stolen documents contain sensitive information, including details on Trump's court cases, that "could affect the upcoming US election." Lockbit also claimed it had backup copies of documents acquired from the Fulton County government's website.

Despite the February 20 law enforcement raid that took down 34 data servers, arrested two LockBit members, and froze over 200 cryptocurrency accounts, the group appeared to become operational again over the weekend.

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Did Fulton County in Georgia Pay the Ransom to Lockbit?

Since Fulton County's computer systems were hacked on January 27, its court website was still not fully operational. The hacking incident has garnered attention nationally because of the cases against Donald Trump.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has sued Trump and over a dozen of his allies for racketeering in relation to an attempt to overturn the 2020 federal election's results in Georgia. The former president has pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.

In a February 20 press conference, Fulton County Commission chair Robb Pitts said they did not pay the ransom, "nor did anyone pay on our behalf."

The hacking group noted in its Saturday message that its "partner" was already in "negotiations" over the ransom, but they had "stalled," Business Insider reported.

However, county officials told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Tuesday that they would not pay the ransom despite the pressure from hackers.

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