Feb. 8 (UPI) — The State Department is offering a $10 million reward for information leading authorities to locate leaders of the Hive ransomware variant multinational organized crime group, officials announced Thursday.
“In addition, we are also announcing a reward of up to $5,000,000 for information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of any individual in any country conspiring to participate in or attempting to participate in Hive ransomware activity,” the department said in a release.
The Hive ransomware variant has targeted victims in at least 80 countries, including the U.S., officials said. In July, 2022, the FBI accessed the ring’s computer networks and accessed its decryption keys.
It then made those keys available worldwide, saving hacking victims a total of more than $130 million in ransom demands.
The reward offer comes on the heels of an announcement by the Justice Department in late January that it had seized control of Hive’s servers and website with the help of Europol, the German and Dutch authorities, and the United States Secret Service.
“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,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray following the seizure of Hive’s servers and website last month. “The FBI will continue to leverage our intelligence and law enforcement tools, global presence, and partnerships to counter cybercriminals who target American business and organizations.”
The reward comes as part of the State Department’s Transnational Organized Crime Rewards Program, which is targeted at global crime that often involves perpetrators cooperating from different countries.
“We will continue to work with allies and partners to disrupt and deter ransomware actors that threaten the backbone of our economies and critical infrastructure,” Thursday’s announcement said.
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