The US Department of Justice reported that the country had taken down a significant ransomware network’s website and accused the Hive ransomware’s operators of extorting more than $100 million from more than 1,500 victims worldwide.
The Department of Justice has destroyed “An international ransomware network responsible for extorting and attempting to extort hundreds of millions of dollars from victims,” according to a statement from US Attorney General Merrick Garland on Thursday.
According to the statement, the victims included hospitals, educational systems, financial institutions, and vital infrastructure.
Cybercrime is a menace that is constantly changing. However, as I have previously stated, Garland added that the Justice Department would exhaust all available means to locate and prosecute anyone, wherever, who attacks the United States with a ransomware attack.
According to a US government alert from June 2021 to last November, Hive ransomware attackers targeted more than 1,300 businesses worldwide, collecting around $100 million in extortion payments.
The seizure is the Department of Justice’s most recent attempt to combat the menace of ransomware, which sees hackers encrypt or lock up their victims’ computer networks, steal their data, and demand a hefty ransom.
After a ransomware-enabled intrusion in 2021 put a significant American pipeline operator offline, the problem gained attention on a national scale in the US. The targeted corporation paid a multimillion-dollar ransom, which the US government mainly recovered. According to the FBI, decryption keys were seized and distributed to victims across the globe to prevent them from paying a $130 million ransom.
Hive operated as a ransomware service, which allowed anyone to use its software and other services to break into, lockdown, and accepts payments for a target’s IT systems. Hive and the victim would split the extortion’s proceeds.
As the investigation was ongoing, US officials would not specify who was behind Hive or whether any arrests would be made in conjunction with the operation’s closure. “Anyone engaged with Hive should be concerned,” Wray told the media.