The Federal Bureau of Investigation, or FBI, secretly hacked a prolific ransomware gang called Hive to stop them from extorting more than $130 million.
What Happened: An international operation involving authorities from 13 countries, including the U.S., Europe, Germany and the Netherlands, took down the infrastructure of the ransomware gang, Hive.
See Also: Finnish Hacker Charged With Extorting Psychotherapy Clinic, Used Patients’ Medical Records To Seek Ransom
The joint effort prevented more than $130 million in ransom payments.
Merrick Garland, U.S. attorney general, Christopher Wray, director of the FBI, and Lisa Monaco, deputy U.S. attorney general, told the media that government hackers broke into Hive’s network.
They further divulged that the authorities were keeping the hackers under surveillance while simultaneously stealing the digital keys the group used to get victims’ data, reported Reuters.
News of the takedown first leaked on Thursday when Hive’s website was replaced with a glaring text — “The Federal Bureau of Investigation seized this site as part of coordinated law enforcement action taken against Hive Ransomware.”
Why It’s Important: According to Europol, since June 2021, more than 1,500 companies from 80 countries worldwide have fallen prey to Hive. These victim organizations’ have paid more than 100 million euro in ransom payments.
A report released last week suggested that ransomware extortion decreased by about 40% in 2022. This is primarily due to victims finally refusing to pay the attackers. However, the number of active strains has increased significantly.
Read Next: Tech Support Scams: A Common Menace Finds New Victims In Federal Workers
© 2023 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.