The United States State Department has recently revealed a $10 million reward for any valuable information that could lead to the detection or whereabouts of the principal members of the Hive ransomware gang.
Following that, the State Department has announced a $5 million reward for providing any information that leads to the arrest or conviction of the suspected cybercriminals.
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Over a year ago, the FBI collaborated with international law enforcement to conduct a seven-month covert surveillance operation that resulted in the seizure of the gang’s servers and websites.
“Beginning in late July 2022, the FBI penetrated Hive’s computer networks, obtained its decryption keys and offered them to victims worldwide, preventing victims from having to pay up to $130 million in ransoms demanded,” the State Department said.
Since the start of 2021, Hive and its affiliated groups have targeted attacks against over 1,500 organizations across 80 countries.
Hive Ransomware Attacks
These attacks have resulted in the theft of over $100 million in funds. The victims of these attacks include school districts, financial institutions, and critical infrastructure providers.
For a few months, the FBI was able to infiltrate Hive’s computer systems. As a result, they prevented victims from making ransom payments amounting to $130 million.
Despite the persistent efforts of the U.S. government to combat the menace of ransomware, cybercriminals have succeeded in extorting an unprecedented amount of $1.1 billion as ransom payments from their victims.
The Hive operation attacks have been a recent concern for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). In response, the FBI released a flash alert in April 2021 that contained technical details and indicators of compromise associated with the gang’s operations.
The Hive ransomware group has been operating since June 2021 and offers a Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS) called “Hive.” The group uses a double-extortion tactic, where it steals sensitive data from its victims and then threatens to publish it on its leak site, HiveLeaks, in addition to demanding a ransom payment.
Chainalysis, a blockchain analytics firm, has released a report revealing that Hive, a ransomware strain, ranks among the top 10 most lucrative ransomware operations in revenue generated in 2021.
“Today’s announcement complements the Department of Justice announcement that, with Europol, the German and Dutch authorities, and the United States Secret Service, it had seized control of Hive’s servers and websites, thereby disrupting Hive’s ability to attack further and extort victims.”
“We will continue to work with allies and partners to disrupt and deter ransomware actors that threaten the backbone of our economies and critical infrastructure.”