The US Department of State is offering a multimillion-dollar reward for information leading to the identification of key members of the Hive ransomware crime group, along with the takedown of the group’s infrastructure. The Department of State announced on Monday that it is offering $10 million for any information that can help in the identification of key leadership members of the Hive ransomware group. Additionally, they are offering $5 million for any information that leads to the arrest or conviction of an individual participating or attempting to participate in activities related to the ransomware.
The reward is being offered through the Department of State’s Transnational Organized Crime Rewards Program (TOCRP). The program, established in 2013, gives the Secretary of State the authority to offer rewards of up to $25 million for information leading to the reduction of transnational crime, including cybercrime, human trafficking, and trafficking of other illicit goods.
The Hive ransomware group has been operating in several countries, including the US. In 2022, the FBI was able to make significant progress in obtaining the group’s decryption keys after breaching its computer networks. This action saved victims up to $130 million in potential ransom payments globally.
The Department of State’s announcement comes on the heels of a joint effort by the Department of Justice, Europol, and the law enforcement agencies of Germany and the Netherlands, along with the United States Secret Service, to seize control of Hive’s servers and websites. This joint effort disrupted Hive’s ability to further attack and extort victims.
In a press release, the Department of State stated, “Today’s announcement complements the Department of Justice’s announcement that, with Europol, the German and Dutch authorities, and the United States Secret Service, it had seized control of Hive’s servers and websites, thereby disrupting Hive’s ability to further attack and extort victims. 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.”
The offer of a $10 million reward for information leading to identifying key leadership members of the Hive ransomware group underscores the US government’s commitment to pursuing cybercriminals and preventing their malicious activities. The significant financial incentive is aimed at encouraging individuals with knowledge about the Hive ransomware group to come forward and assist law enforcement in their efforts to dismantle the group and prevent future attacks.
The fact that the FBI was able to obtain the group’s decryption keys and the recent joint operation to seize control of Hive’s servers and websites demonstrate that law enforcement agencies are making progress in combating ransomware groups. The rewards from the Department of State serve as a further incentive for individuals to provide information that could lead to the apprehension of those involved in ransomware activities. By disrupting and dismantling these criminal groups, the aim is to deter future attacks and protect businesses and individuals from falling victim to ransomware schemes.