The Justice Department Has Stopped a Major Ransomware Gang’s Website – Here’s What Happened
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The US Department of Justice (DOJ) took action and shut down the website of a well-known ransomware gang on January 26. This group frequently targets hospitals and other healthcare facilities and had been responsible for ransomware attacks on over 1,500 victims worldwide and millions of dollars in extortion payments.
US/EU seized servers & websites operated by the #Hive #ransomware gang. The US DOJ says the #FBI secretly breached the Hive gang's infrastructure in July 2022, from where agents retrieved more than 1,300 decryption keys over the past 7 months.1/3https://t.co/0PrxGbIlEs pic.twitter.com/NnLz55o9x1
— Dawood Sajjadi #OpIran (@5tuxnet) January 27, 2023
It is also worth noting that the ‘Hive’ Ransomware Group’s website was unavailable on Thursday. The announcement was made as part of the Biden administration’s broader effort to combat ransomware attacks, which have increased over the past few years and have held the data of vital institutions like hospitals, governments, and schools, hostage.
The Biden administration on Thursday disclosed its monthslong effort to disrupt the Hive ransomware gang, which the U.S. government said attacked more than 1,500 targets across more than 80 countries. https://t.co/iR7hE54Q0M
— The Washington Times (@WashTimes) January 26, 2023
However, the Justice Department had scheduled a press conference to go over the incident.
Hive Ransomware Attackers Targets
According to a U.S. government advisory from last year, Hive ransomware attackers targeted over 1,300 businesses worldwide between June 2021 and last November, collecting about $100 million in ransom payments. Basically, the ransomware was used by criminals to target a variety of industries and crucial infrastructure sectors, including government buildings, crucial manufacturing, and “especially” the healthcare and public health sectors.
FBI, Europol seize Hive ransomware group infrastructure: The group responsible for at least 1,300 attacks that resulted in at least $100 million in ransom payments
The post FBI, Europol seize Hive ransomware group infrastructure appeared first on… https://t.co/FkYM8wudMP pic.twitter.com/mCwwJAPIcr
— Shah Sheikh (@shah_sheikh) January 26, 2023
Attorney General Merrick Garland said Thursday that Justice Department agents used a court order on Wednesday night to take control of the Hive ransomware group’s darknet website and two back-end servers in Los Angeles. However, the seizure is the most recent attempt by the Justice Department to combat the scourge of ransomware, in which hackers lock up or encrypt victim computer networks, steal data, and demand hefty ransoms.
Ransomware Gang; The Authorities Warn Potential Victims
The Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States and its allies have been receiving a lot of praise because their success in putting the ransomware under control provides everyone with comforting relief.
Ransomware attacks hurt so many more than just corporations or small businesses. A coworker is dealing with one at their alma mater, and it’s heartbreaking. Has anything like this ever happened to you? #Cybersecurity #Ransomware #HigherEd #cdwsocial https://t.co/PfYUsSZ7bZ pic.twitter.com/EeYjOOBdmI
— Phillip Pollicove (@PhilPol) January 27, 2023
According to FBI Director Christopher Wray, the FBI would prefer that victims of these ransomware attacks always promptly report to the authorities for prompt action.
Russian Involvement In the Attacks
Russian hackers have frequently been connected to ransomware attacks, including the 2021 attack on Colonial Pipeline, which temporarily disrupted the supply of gas to the East Coast.
According to FBI Director Christopher Wray, the “disruption campaign” against Hive took place over the previous 18 months. It involved FBI agents breaking into Hive’s control panels to provide victims with keys to unlock their encrypted systems.
Wray urged victims of cyberattacks to come forward and alert law enforcement, noting that only about 20% of Hive’s victims had done so.