Hive Ransomware Dismantled: FBI Confirms Disruption Of Cybercrime Ecosystem

Zinger Key Points
  • FBI provides decryption keys to over 1,300 victims worldwide, preventing $130 million in ransom payments.
  • "There will be consequences," the FBI says. "No matter how much you try to twist and turn to cover your tracks."

The U.S. Federal Bureau Of Investigation (FBI) is dismantling the Hive ransomware group.

Hive's infrastructure, both in the U.S. and abroad, had been active for more than a year and a half.

According to FBI Director Christopher Wray, the FBI's strategy to combat ransomware involves targeting the entire cybercrime ecosystem, including the actors, their finances, communications, malware, and infrastructure. "Since 2021, that's exactly how we've hit Hive Ransomware," he said.

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The FBI gained access to the group's control panel, which allowed them to help victims without Hive catching on.

"We've been able to exploit that access to help victims while keeping Hive in the dark, using that access to identify Hive's victims and to offer over 1,300 victims around the world keys to decrypt their infected networks, preventing at least $130 million in ransom payments," Wray said.

The FBI also provided technical assistance to victims to help them protect themselves from future attacks.

"We combine our technical expertise, our experience handling human sources, and our other investigative tradecraft to seek out technical indicators victims can use to protect themselves," Wray said.

"We're ready to help you build a crisis response plan, so when an intruder does come knocking, you'll be prepared," he added, urging businesses and organizations to reach out to their local FBI field office to introduce themselves. "When victims report attacks to us, we can help them — and others, too."

Wray said the FBI found that only about 20% of Hive's victims reported potential issues to law enforcement.

The investigation is ongoing and more arrests, seizures, and operations are expected.

"No matter where you are, and no matter how much you try to twist and turn to cover your tracks — your infrastructure, your criminal associates, your money, and your liberty are all at risk. And there will be consequences," Wray warned cybercriminals.

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