The Department of Justice (DoJ) announced on Jan. 26 a successful disruption campaign by the agency against the Hive network that has conducted numerous ransomware attacks across American infrastructure and institutions.

The disruption campaign was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), with the operation succeeding in preventing payment of $130 million of ransomware demands from Hive network attackers.

The FBI campaign has been active since July 2022, and has been able to prevent ransomware payments by capturing over 300 decryption keys and giving them to organizations being attacked by Hive. The FBI also was able to turn over 1,000 decryption keys to those that were previous victims of the Hive network.

The FBI also took down a plethora of servers, networks and sites used by the hacker gang.

“Last night, the Justice Department dismantled an international ransomware network responsible for extorting and attempting to extort hundreds of millions of dollars from victims in the United States and around the world,” stated U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland.

Alongside the successful disruption campaign, DoJ announced a partnership with foreign entities including the German Federal Criminal Police and Reutlingen Police Headquarters-CID Esslingen, as well as the Netherlands National High Tech Crime Unit.

The partnership, DoJ said, has been used to seize “control of the servers and websites that Hive uses to communicate with its members, disrupting Hive’s ability to attack and extort victims.”

“The coordinated disruption of Hive’s computer networks, following months of decrypting victims around the world, shows what we can accomplish by combining a relentless search for useful technical information to share with victims with investigation aimed at developing operations that hit our adversaries hard,” stated FBI Director Christopher Wray.

“The FBI will continue to leverage our intelligence and law enforcement tools, global presence, and partnerships to counter cybercriminals who target American business and organizations,” Wray pledged.

DoJ and the FBI asked Hive victims to contact their local FBI office for assistance to further deter the networks attacks on American institutions and infrastructure.

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Jose Rascon
Jose Rascon
Jose Rascon is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.