The U.S. Department of Justice announced Thursday the results of a months-long operation in which the Federal Bureau of Investigation actively disrupted the activities of the Hive ransomware group, which targeted hospitals, schools and banks in more than 80 countries.
“Last night, the Department of Justice dismantled an international ransomware network that extorted and attempted to extort hundreds of millions of dollars from victims in the United States and around the world,” U.S. Attorney General Merrick B. Garland said in a statement. I’m here.
Since June 2021, the group has targeted more than 1,500 victims worldwide and received over $100 million in cryptocurrency ransoms, according to the Justice Department. According to DOJ, the FBI’s operation to breach Hive’s network will begin in July 2022, providing over 1,300 decryption keys to help victims recover their data and systems, including critical infrastructure. I was able to help you do that.
Authorities said the operation was coordinated with German and Dutch law enforcement agencies to seize control of the servers and websites used by Hive.
Ransomware is software that can lock your computer and demand a ransom to restore access. Any internet-connected device can become a victim of ransomware, but phishing attacks are typically the primary attack vector.
According to the agency, Hive typically targets victims by stealing sensitive data (emails, documents, photos, videos) and encrypting computer files. The group then extorts additional funds by demanding the decryption keys needed to restore the files in Bitcoin in exchange for a promise not to expose the stolen data to the dark web. If the victim doesn’t pay, Hive will release the stolen data.
Blockchain forensics firm Chainalysis recently reported a 40% drop in revenue from ransomware attacks, from $766 million in 2021 to $457 million in 2022. The company attributed the decline in ransomware payments to victims’ reluctance to pay and increased awareness of cybersecurity. , says removing Hive is a win for cryptocurrency, law enforcement, and national security.
“Cybercrime is a constantly evolving threat,” said Garland. “But as I said earlier, the Department of Justice spares no resources to identify and bring to justice those who target the United States with ransomware attacks.”
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