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Hive attackers will utilize double extortion. They will break into your network, gain administrative credentials and download your most vital and secret information.

U.S. Law Enforcement Shuts Down Hive Operations [2023]

Hive ransomware is known as a notorious ransomware-as-a-service model that targets victims within critical infrastructure, such as government organizations, healthcare providers and education entities. Since summer of 2021, the Hive group has targeted over 2,000 victims globally from over 80 countries and has extorted over $170 million in ransom payments. Hive frequently utilizes the double-extortion method and publishes victims’ data on their Tor-based leak website. The Hive syndicate is one of the world’s top ransomware networks alongside DarkSide and Conti.

In summer of 2022, a South Korean cybersecurity agency released a free file decryptor for victims of Hive. Not much later, the FBI covertly hacked the gang’s main control panel. This allowed them to confirm targets and secure the decryption keys needed for an estimated 1,300 victims to take back their stolen data. The combined efforts of Europol and the FBI prevented the loss of $130 million in ransom payments. However, FBI director Christopher Wray, revealed that only 20% of victims reported their situation to law enforcement.

On January 25, 2023, the domain of the Hive ransomware leak website, as well as their infrastructure and servers located in Los Angeles, were seized and shut down as part of a major law enforcement operation that involved authorities and international partners from over 10 countries. This operation proved to be a big win for the US Department of Justice and helps to undermine the confidence of threat actors in what has been a high reward-low risk business. In ongoing attempts to dismantle ransomware gangs and their networks, the United States government reiterated to the public that a $10 million reward is provided to anyone that has information on cybercriminals (developers, administrators, and affiliates).

What is Hive Ransomware? 

Hive ransomware is the name given to the new ransomware tools developed in June 2021. According to threat research released in October 2021, these malware tools are specifically developed to encrypt Linux and FreeBSD systems, and typically delivered by hackers subscribed to ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS).  

Hive attackers will utilize double extortion. They will break into your network, gain administrative credentials and download your most vital and secret information. Once they have done that, that will plan for when to encrypt all your information, so your system becomes unusable. At that time, they will reveal to you their ransom note, demanding a large amount of money to be paid in a digital currency like Bitcoin. Even if you can recover with your backups, they will threaten to publish your confidential information on the web if you don’t pay the ransom. Be careful though, as many companies think they can recover from their backups only to discover those have also been deleted or encrypted. Common ransom amounts are ranging from $100,000 for smaller firms to $40M for larger entities. 

Following the release of the new Hive ransomware in 2021, the FBI published a warning in August 2021, which describes the ransomware’s expected TTP (tactics, techniques, and procedures) and indicators of compromise. However, due to the various techniques and innovations employed in these attacks, they still represent a challenge for IT departments and professionals not experienced in the process of ransomware recovery.  

How Does Hive Ransomware Decryption Work? 

Hive ransomware attacks have different features depending on who the target is and how they are managed. However, several patterns have emerged over the past months. 

Firstly, the threat actor steals sensitive data from the targeted company. This usually happens before the systems’ encryption through phishing emails, Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) hijacking, unpatched software, unpatched firewalls and more. This works as leverage for the threat actor to receive their payment demands. Their goal is to cause you maximum pain and suffering.  

What’s more, Hive ransomware gangs often take advantage of the major financial events that might take place in an organization, including mergers, acquisitions, and management activities. 

If you are detecting an attack, or one is currently underway, it is imperative that you immediately isolate all the systems on the network. Disconnect them all from the Internet, as that will typically stop further encryption. Immediately secure all data backups. Hopefully those are air gapped, or you secured them by other means before they can be deleted or encrypted.  

But even more importantly, it is essential to contact a specialized Hive Ransomware Decryption company that can remove the ransomware and help you with the recovery process. Here is the basic outline of what to expect during a ransomware recovery. 

Alvaka’s Specialized Hive Ransomware Recovery Services

At Alvaka, we have years of experience helping victims through ransomware recoveries and getting back to business with Hive Ransomware Removal. When working with our Hive ransomware-focused team of engineers, you can successfully remove the ransomware, eject the hackers, and protect your company against maximum financial losses and reputation damage.  

Get in touch with us today and let our team intervene with precision, agility, and promptness to restore the IT security of your organization. Our team is available 24/7/365 at 1-866-772-6766 or accessible via Live Chat. 

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