The Department of Justice, FBI and international law enforcement partners has mounted a major cyber crackdown against the notorious Russia-linked ransomware gang the Hive on Thursday, seizing its website and dismantling much of its digital infrastructure.
“The Federal Bureau of Investigation seized this site as part of a coordinated law enforcement action taken against Hive Ransomware,” a note on Hive’s leak site, shown in English and Russian languages, said Thursday.
Hive ransomware actors have “victimized” over 1,300 companies worldwide, and are believed to have received approximately $100 million in ransom payments, according to information previously released by the FBI, authorities said.
“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,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement Thursday.
The Hive gang is known to threaten companies they target by warning they’ll leak their information on the internet, according to bulletins released by law enforcement. Their hackers typically leave a ransom note with instructions on the network.
In one instance last month, Hive hackers allegedly took the data of 270,000 people from the largest medical complex in Lake Charles, Louisiana. The information they stole included full names, addresses, medical records, payment info and in some cases social security numbers of patients at the hospital.
“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,” FBI Director Christopher Wray said in a statement.