The Department of State also announced it is offering $5 million for any information that leads to the arrest of any individual around the world conspiring to participate in Hive ransomware activity.
In 2023, the State Department’s ‘Rewards for Justice’ program issued rewards for any information that could link Hive or other groups targeting US critical national infrastructure to a foreign government.
Coordinated efforts from German and Dutch law enforcement led to the infiltration of Hive’s communication servers, with authorities claiming to have disrupted the group’s ability to continue its operations.
Following the operation, the FBI was able to provide over 1,000 decryption keys to active and previous Hive victims, reporting its actions had saved $130 million in unpaid ransoms.
Deputy attorney general Lisa O. Monaco said government agencies around the world are beginning to seize the initiative in their ongoing struggle to suppress ransomware.
“[O]ur investigative team turned the tables on Hive, swiping their decryption keys, passing them to victims, and ultimately averting more than $130 million dollars in ransomware payments. We will continue to strike back against cybercrime using any means possible and place victims at the center of our efforts to mitigate the cyber threat.”
FBI director Christopher Wray said the operation’s success demonstrates the value of counter-offensive tactics to disrupt groups like Hive in combination with crowd-sourcing information.
“The coordinated disruption of Hive’s computer networks, following months of decrypting victims around the world, shows what we can accomplish by combining a relentless search for useful technical information to share with victims with investigation aimed at developing operations that hit our adversaries hard”.
Is this the end of the road for Hive ransomware?
The Hive ransomware group has targeted over 1,500 companies across more than 80 countries and received over $100 million in ransom payments since June 2021, according to the FBI.
Previous attacks linked to the group include the…