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FBI seizes website used by notorious ransomware gang

2023-01-27 19:14 by


In one of the FBI's most sophisticated cybercrime operations to date, agents infiltrated and spent approximately six months embedded in a prominent ransomware gang's network, Justice Department officials announced Thursday. That gang, known as Hive, was disrupted earlier this week when agents seized its server infrastructure and also took down its website.

The dark-web website on which Hive listed its victims displayed a message in Russian and English Thursday that it had been taken over "as part of a coordinated law enforcement action" against the group by the FBI, Secret Service and numerous European government agencies.

The Hive ransomware has been particularly rampant in the health care sector. One ransomware attack using Hive malicious software, in August 2021, forced a hospital in the US Midwest to turn away patients as Covid-19 surged, Attorney General Merrick Garland said.

The agencies said Hive has targeted 1,500 victims in more than 80 countries since emerging in June 2021, and Attorney General Merrick Garland listed off dozens of specific instances where they were able to help victims deal with a ransomware attack, noting the group's affinity for targeting schools and hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic. The group made at least $100 million in its first year of operation.

The FBI said it provided more than 300 decryption keys to Hive victims currently under attack and over 1,000 keys to previous victims.

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