The U.S. Department of Justice said on Thursday it has targeted hospitals, schools and banking in more than 80 countries. Hive ransomware group announced the results of a months-long operation with the FBI, which actively disrupted its activities.
FBI Infiltrates Hive Network, Blocks Over $130 Million in Crypto Ransomware
US Attorney General Merrick B. Garland “Last night, the Department of Justice cracked down on an international ransomware network responsible for extorting and attempting to extort hundreds of millions of dollars from victims in the United States and around the world,” it said in a statement.
The Justice Department says that since June 2021, the group has targeted more than 1,500 victims worldwide and has received over $100 million in cryptocurrency ransom payments.
The Department of Justice announced that the FBI’s operation to infiltrate Hive’s network began in July 2022 and was able to provide more than 1,300 decryption keys, including critical infrastructure, to help victims recover their data and systems.
The agency says the operation was coordinated with German and Dutch law enforcement and took control of the servers and websites used by Hive.
Ransomware is software that can crash a computer and demand a ransom to restore access. While any device connected to the Internet can potentially become a victim of ransomware, phishing attacks are often the primary attack vector.
Blockchain forensics firm Chainalysis recently reported that revenue from ransomware attacks fell 40%, from $766 million in 2021 to $457 million in 2022.
The firm described the elimination of Hive as a victory for cryptocurrency, law enforcement, and national security, citing the decline in ransomware payments to an increased reluctance of victims to pay and a rise in cybersecurity awareness.
*Not investment advice.
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