US Department of Justice brings down crypto-ransomware group ‘Hive’, holds over $130 million in ransoms

  • The Federal Bureau of Investigation has been trying to break into Hive’s network since July 2022.
  • The United States carried out the operation in cooperation with German and Dutch law enforcement.
  • The CFTC commissioner is seeking to establish new crypto laws and give the agency greater authority over the space.

The crypto space is no stranger to hacks and ransomware attacks as the anonymity that blockchain technology offers easily masks criminals. However, while to date attempts to make amends for the crime have been made, it appears that this time the United States succeeded in stopping the crime before it happened.

The US DoJ Against Cybercriminals

The US Department of Justice, in a statement on Thursday, announced that it had successfully penetrated the computer networks of the “Hive” ransomware group.

In doing so, the DoJ captured the decryption keys and offered them to victims around the world, preventing them from paying around $130 million in ransom.

The operation, which began in July last year, managed to produce 300 decryption keys for Hive victims attacked and another 1,000 decryption keys for other previous victims.

The DoJ said the operation was carried out in coordination with German law enforcement and the Dutch National High-Tech Crime Unit. Adding to this, Attorney General Merrick B. Garland said:

“…the Department of Justice will spare no resources to identify and bring to justice anyone, anywhere who targets the United States with a ransomware attack. We will continue to work both to prevent these attacks and to provide support to the victims who have been targeted. And together with our international partners, we will continue to disrupt the criminal networks that carry out these attacks.”

A decrease in cybercrime activities is necessary for the crypto space to evolve, as eliminating threats builds trust in the space.

As it stands, the annual revenue generated by ransomware attacks fell by more than 40.3% last year compared to 2021. The demand for increased awareness and competence of security forces the order allowed this drop in income.

The CFTC wants to take responsibility

As reported by FXStreet earlier this week, Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Commissioner Kristin Johnson is seeking to strengthen the agency’s oversight of the crypto market. At the same time, Johnson is also looking to establish new cryptocurrency rules under the CFTC. She added,

“Cause the order to fulfill our mandate of client protection, market integrity and market stability, the commission should have the power to engage in an appropriate level of due diligence.”


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