Feds "Hack the Hackers" and Take Down Prolific (and dangerous) Ransomware Gang
A ransomware gang that has been targeting hospitals and other health care providers has been at least temporarily dismantled by the FBI. Attorney General Merrick Garland and other U.S. officials announced that the FBI's Tampa office infiltrated the group known as Hive last year, saving victims including hospitals and school districts a potential $130 million in ransom payments.
Hive operates one of the world’s top five ransomware networks in the world. According to officials, the FBI quietly gained access to its control panel in July and was able to obtain software keys to decrypt the network of some 1,300 victims globally, said FBI Director Christopher Wray. Officials credited German police and other international partners.
“In a 21st-century cyber stakeout, our investigative team turned the tables on Hive, swiping their decryption keys, passing them to victims, and ultimately averting more than $130 million dollars in ransomware payments,” said Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco Thursday. “We will continue to strike back against cybercrime using any means possible and place victims at the center of our efforts to mitigate the cyber threat.”