The US Justice Department Announced That The FBI Blocked More Than $130 Million in Crypto Ransomware Of Hive Group
On the 26th of January, DOJ, known as the US Department of Justice, announced the result of their months-long operation with the FBI, the Federal Bureau of Investigation. According to the DOJ, the FBI actively blocked the activities of the Hive ransomware group, which targeted schools, banks, and hospitals in more than 80 countries worldwide. According to the statement by US Attorney General Merrick B. Garland, the Justice Department dismantled an international ransomware network responsible for extorting hundreds of millions of dollars from victims around the world.
According to the DOJ, since June 2021, the Hive ransomware group has targeted more than 1,500 victims worldwide, from whom the group received more than $100 million in cryptocurrency ransom payments. According to the DOJ, the operation with the FBI to penetrate Hive’s network started in July 2022. This operation by the DOJ and the FBI was able to provide around 1,300 decryption keys to help victims recover their data and systems. This data also helped those victims with critical infrastructure.
According to the DOJ, this operation became successful with coordination with German and Dutch law enforcement, which helped them seize control of the websites and servers used by Hive. According to the DOJ, the Hive ransomware group typically targets a victim by stealing sensitive data, such as documents, pictures, emails, and videos, and encrypting their computer files. After stealing data or encrypting computer files, the ransomware group demands a ransom in Bitcoin for the decryption key required to restore the files. The group also demands extra funds in exchange for a promise not to publish the stolen personal data of an individual on the dark web.
If the victim refuses to give money, the group publishes the stolen data or doesn’t give the decryption keys for restoring essential files. According to a recent report by Chainalysis, a blockchain forensic firm, the revenue from ransomware attacks has decreased by 40%, from $766 million in 2021 to $457 million in 2022. Regarding the reason behind this value drop, the blockchain forensic firm wrote about the increase in cybersecurity awareness and victims’ increasing unwillingness to pay.