FBI Strikes a Major Blow! Who was responsible for Hive, the international ransomware network that caused over 1,500 Internet attacks, including 70 in Germany, before US investigators with the help of German officials shut it down? How did they carry out their attacks?
West German Broadcasting reported that Hive was one of the world’s five largest and most powerful hacker networks (WDR). The group targeted hospitals, financial companies, and oil companies that operate critical infrastructure, and its attacks impacted businesses in over 80 countries globally.
With the help of law enforcement agencies from 13 countries, the FBI was able to break into Hive and take it apart. The US Deputy Attorney General, Lisa Monaco, told The Verge, “To put it simply, we used legal means to hack the hackers.”
The Verge says, “The FBI claims that by covertly hacking into Hive servers, it was able to quietly snatch up over 300 decryption keys and pass them back to victims whose data was locked up by the group.”
School and Hospital Hostages Are Gone
US Attorney General Merrick Garland confirmed that the FBI used decryption keys to unlock computer systems held for ransom by cybercriminals. These systems belonged to a Texas school district, a Louisiana hospital, and a food services company and the ransom demands were $5 million, $3 million, and $10 million, respectively.
Confiscated by the FBI
This text is now on one of the sites on the Darknet: “The Federal Bureau of Investigation seized this site as part of a coordinated law enforcement action.” You can also see the US Department of Justice logos, the Federal Criminal Police Office’s cybercrime division, and the police headquarters in Reutlingen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany.
The Head of the FBI Issued a Clear Statement
Christopher Wray, the head of the FBI, warned that anyone involved with Hive should be concerned, as the FBI’s investigation into the group remains ongoing. So far, the FBI has not disclosed any additional information about the individuals behind Hive.
Mystery of Modern-Day Hackers
WDR report states hackers are now “top professionals” in organized crime, no longer just teens in basements and are now “top professionals” in organized crime.
How Do They Do It?
Hackers usually don’t attack companies and organizations and try to get money from them. Instead, they write attack programs that they then sell. Straßer says that work gets done in different ways.
Locate System Gaps
A group makes the attacks and finds holes in the systems of hackers. This group uses automation to send attack programs to the methods of different companies and other groups. Hackers can see where there are holes in the systems because of the programs.
Close The Systems
A two-part hacker network operates to generate profits. One group sells information on computer system vulnerabilities to another group, who then write tailored programs to exploit these weaknesses and cripple the systems.
Package of System Vulnerabilities
The criminal underworld is hunting for a highly sought-after package – a collection of system vulnerabilities and attack programs.
WDR says tailored programs enable targeted attacks and result in ransom demands and profits for criminals. This is the dark side of technology, where the hunt for yield knows no bounds.
Ransomware is malicious software that can disrupt computer systems and lock away essential data. It’s like digital kidnapping, where the attackers hold your valuable information for ransom, demanding payment in exchange for its release.
Perpetrators of ransomware attacks usually demand payment in the form of Bitcoin, a decentralized digital currency that facilitates anonymous transactions. As ransomware attacks are becoming more common and advanced, individuals and organizations must take necessary measures to guard against these cyber threats.
It Was Worth a Lot of Money
Merrick Garland, the US Attorney General, stated that breaking up Hive could help victims avoid paying approximately $130 million in ransom. According to Tagesschau, Hive has already stolen over $100 million in ransom.
Garland told FAZ investigators infiltrated Hive and gave attack victims passwords to access their data. FBI Strikes a Major Blow
Few People Report Hacks
It is difficult to determine the exact number of cyber attacks globally, as many go unreported. According to WDR, experts believe that companies refrain from reporting these attacks to the police to protect their reputation. In the case of Hive, the FBI reports that only 20% of its victims sought help from the police.
Hospital Attacks Delayed Surgery
Spiegel said that in August 2021, Hive attacked the Memorial Health System in the United States. Because of this, urgent surgeries had to be put off at the three hospitals involved. FBI Strikes a Major Blow
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