The government is providing a reward of up to $10 million for information leading to the identification of the hackers responsible for the Hive ransomware attack.

The U.S. Department of State has announced a reward of up to $10 million for information on the leaders of the Hive ransomware gang. The agency is also offering a reward of up to $5 million for information leading to the arrest or conviction of any person involved in Hive ransomware activity.

According to the State Department, the FBI was able to penetrate Hive’s computer networks in late July 2022 and obtain decryption keys, preventing victims from having to pay up to $130 million in ransoms. Since 2021, Hive and its affiliates have targeted over 1,500 institutions in more than 80 countries, resulting in the theft of over $100 million. Among the victims are school districts, financial firms, and critical infrastructure.

The government’s reward comes two weeks after the FBI announced that it had dismantled the international ring, seizing its servers in California after more than a year of surveillance. Ransomware groups like Hive use various methods, such as phishing emails, to infiltrate computer networks and demand payment in exchange for decryption keys. In one case, Hive’s attack on a Midwestern hospital disrupted care during the COVID-19 pandemic and forced institutions to pay a ransom before treating patients.

Last year, global ransomware payments exceeded $1 billion, according to data from Chainalysis. In the U.S., over 2,200 hospitals, schools, and governments were directly impacted by ransomware in 2023, along with thousands of private-sector firms, according to security company Emsisoft.  

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