It’s time for a wild ride through the world of international law enforcement and cybercrime! The FBI, the U.S. Department of Justice, Europol, Germany, and the Netherlands teamed up for a massive operation that took down the notorious Hive ransomware servers!
Early Thursday morning, security experts were doing their usual online prowling when they stumbled upon a surprise – Hive’s dark web leak site had been replaced by a message from law enforcement agencies announcing the servers had been seized!
The FBI tried their best, but they just couldn’t seem to crack this network. But, luckily, July of 2022 saw a big win when law enforcement finally managed to break into the cybercrime gang’s headquarters, nabbing the magical decryption keys demanded by victims in exchange for the ransom.
The @FBI secretly hacked, disrupted and turned the tables on the #Hive #ransomware gang. Government #hackers broke into Hive's network, put the gang under surveillance and stopped $130 million in ransomware demands from being collected. via @Reuters https://t.co/iXp9C2ng1b
— SonicWall (@SonicWall) January 27, 2023
Hacker Got It Coming!
During a press conference led by Attorney General Merrick Garland, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco and FBI Director Christopher Wray, it was revealed that the FBI had infiltrated Hive’s networks back in July 2022.
They captured decryption keys and offered them to victims worldwide, preventing them from paying a whopping $130 million in ransoms! That’s 300 decryption keys distributed to current victims and 1,000 additional keys to prior victims.
Hive, for those who don’t know, is a ransomware-as-a-service operator that first emerged in June 2021 and quickly claimed hundreds of victims from all over the world, including hospitals, school districts, financial firms, and critical infrastructure. But thanks to this operation, the Hive’s reign of terror has come to an end!
In the words of Attorney General Merrick Garland, they will continue to use all of their tools and partnerships to disrupt and deter these malicious actors. So, to all the cybercriminals out there, beware! The international law enforcement community is coming for you!