FBI Hacked the Hackers, Saving Organizations Millions in Ransomware Demands

FBI Hacked the Hackers, Saving Organizations Millions in Ransomware Demands

by Mindy Cohn

The FBI revealed today that it had been working undercover since July 2022 to hack and disrupt Hive, a prolific ransomware group of cyber criminals, preventing them from collecting over $130 million from over 300 entrapped ransomware victims.

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, FBI Director Christopher Wray, and Deputy U.S. Attorney General Lisa Monaco stated during a press conference that FBI hackers broke into Hive's network and eventually stole the digital keys used to unlock data after the ransom was paid.

The Justice Department reports that Hive is among the most high-profile and prolific extortionist groups. The cybercriminals from Hive targeted more than 1,500 victims in 80 countries during its reign of terror and collected at least $100 million in ransomware payments. The organization is allegedly responsible for at least 11 incidents involving U.S. government organizations, schools, and healthcare providers over the last year alone.

The FBI's operation saved a Texas school district from making a $5 million ransom payment and a Louisiana hospital from paying a $3 million ransom, among 300 other wide-ranging victims.

The Attorney General says the department's investigation remains ongoing. No arrests have been made as of yet.

photo credit: Flickr

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