Justice Department Officials Announce Victory for Effort to Fight Ransomware Innovatively
- In the past, the FBI has seized ransoms and returned them to victims to obtain keys to crack systems, but not on the scale of Hive operations, FBI director Christopher A. Ray Said.
- The FBI also provided more than 1,000 decryption keys to the group’s previous victims, according to the Justice Department.
- A German statement said the Hive investigation was successful because the victim did not pay the hacker’s ransom and instead filed criminal charges.
- Authorities arrested NetWalker ransomware hackers in January 2021. He was convicted last year and ordered to forfeit $21.5 million. Law enforcement also seized a ransom payment worth hundreds of thousands of dollars and a dark web website used by the group.
- In June 2021, federal officials recovered over $2 million in ransom paid to the infamous DarkSide hack of the Colonial Pipeline.
- In November 2021, authorities accused Ukrainian citizens of launching a ransomware attack against IT software company Kaseya and seized more than $6 million in ransomware-related funds. But the FBI waited almost three weeks to unlock the systems of victims affected by the hack, The Washington Post first reported. Lawmakers expressed concern about the delay.
- Last year, the FBI recovered approximately $500,000 in cryptocurrency ransomed to North Korean hackers.
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