Hive Network Gets Infiltrated by FBI and Has 130 Million in Crypto Blocked
This Thursday the US justice department announced a months-long operation that collaborated with the Federal Bureau of Investigation that take down a Hive ransomware group targeting hospitals, schools, and banking in over 80 countries. They had been extorting victims all over the US and the world, attempting to extort millions of dollars before the FBI cut them short.
Reports from the Justice Department claim that the group called Hive managed to target over 1500 victims worldwide and received over $100 million in cryptocurrency ransom since June 2021. Almost a year after in July 2022 the FBI started to plan an operation to penetrate Hive´s network and successfully they were able to hand out over 1300 decryption keys to help victims recover their data and systems, some including critical infrastructure. With the aid of both German and Dutch law enforcement, they pulled off a successful raid resulting in the seizure of servers and websites used by Hive.
Behind the Minds of Hive
Hive used Ransomware to extort the victims of a ton of money. Ransomware is software that can easily close down your computer and demand a ransom for it to be released and reopened and restored access. Any computer that is connected to the internet could be attacked by Ransomware they usually prefer phishing attacks. Phishing attacks are usually when the attacker clones a website, e-mail, or even a link that looks legitimate like the original and waits for a user to accidentally chose the wrong one. Like caught on the fishing hook, hence the name Phishing attack.
Reports from the agency came in that Hive operates by stealing sensitive data such as e-mails, videos, pictures, and documents from their victims while also encrypting their computer files. By extorting the victims they have to pay up the ransom using Bitcoin for the price of decryption keys needed to restore data. Later they can extort extra funds for the personal data they collected for a promise of not releasing them on the dark web. If failed to pay everything gets published online.
A Change in the Right Direction
The ransomware attacks have decreased over the years by 40% going from $766 million in 2021 to $457 million in 2022 says the Blockchain forensic firm Chainalysis. Ransomware victims seem to have a more unwillingness to pay and a higher cybersecurity awareness. The takedown of Hive is definitely a victory for cryptocurrency, law enforcement, and national security.