On Thursday, the U.S. Department of State announced a reward of up to $10 million for any information regarding the identities or locations of the leaders of the Hive ransomware group.
The organization has announced a reward of $5 million for anyone who provides information that leads to the apprehension or conviction of an individual involved in Hive ransomware activity, regardless of their location.
The State Department reported that in July 2022, the FBI successfully breached Hive’s computer systems and acquired their decryption codes, which were then provided to victims worldwide. This action prevented victims from having to pay up to $130 million in ransom fees as demanded by the hackers.
The authorities dismantled a global criminal organization by taking control of its servers in California, following over a year of surveillance on the cybercriminals.
Hive and other ransomware groups create harmful programs that can enter computer networks through various means such as fake emails, taking control of users’ systems, and requesting payment for decryption keys to release the organization’s data.
According to the Justice Department, Hive’s attack on a hospital in the Midwestern region caused a disturbance in healthcare services during the peak of the COVID-19 crisis. The hospital was compelled to pay a ransom before being able to provide treatment to their patients.
According to recent data from Chainalysis, worldwide ransomware payments exceeded $1 billion last year, marking an increase after a decline in 2022. In the United States, over 2,200 hospitals, schools, and government entities were directly affected by ransomware in 2023, as well as numerous private companies, as reported by security firm Emsisoft in a recent blog post.
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