The US government said Thursday it would provide up to $10 million in rewards for information on the leaders of the “Hive” ransomware program, which was disrupted last month.
The State Department also said it was offering $5 million for information leading to the arrest of any individual, in any country, who participated or sought to participate in the transnational ransomware network.
“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 statement said.
Hive, one of the world’s leading ransomware attack networks, is accused of targeting 1,500 entities in over 80 countries, including the United States, and collecting more than $100 million in ransoms.
Ransomware attacks typically access vulnerable computer systems and encrypt or steal data, before sending a ransom note demanding payment in exchange for decrypting the data or not releasing it publicly.
The Hive network was dismantled in January by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation in coordination with the German and Dutch police forces, as well as Europol.
“Beginning in late July 2022, the FBI penetrated Hive’s computer networks, obtained its decryption keys, and offered them to victims worldwide, preventing victims from having to pay up to $130 million in ransoms demanded,” the State Department said.
Hive operated on an on-demand software model: its creators made it available to other hackers, who carried out the attacks before sharing the profits.