Today, Hive Tor ransomware payment and data leak sites were seized in an international law enforcement operation involving the US Department of Justice, FBI, Secret Service, Europol and the German companies BKA and Polizei.

The notice of seizure on Tor sites also lists a wide range of other countries involved in the law enforcement operation, including Canada, France, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal , Romania, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

Unlike previous grab messages used by law enforcement, this image is an animated GIF rotating between an English and Russian message, likely to be a warning to other ransomware gangs.

Tor ransomware Hive site seizure notice
Tor ransomware Hive site seizure notice

“This hidden site has been seized. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has seized this site as part of a coordinated law enforcement action against Hive Ransomware,” the seizure notice reads.

“This action was taken in coordination with the United States Attorney’s Office for the Intermediate District of Florida and the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section of the Department of Justice with substantial assistance from Europol.”

Currently, the FBI has not released any information about the takedown. However, BleepingComputer has learned that the US Department of Justice is announcing the action at 10:30 a.m. ET.

What is Hive ransomware?

The Hive cybercriminal gang is run as a ransomware as a service (RaaS) operation which was launched in June 2021. They are known to breach organizations through phishing campaigns, exploit vulnerabilities in devices exposed to the Internetand through purchased credentials.

Once they gain access to a corporate network, threat actors spread laterally to other devices while stealing unencrypted data to use in double extortion demands.

When they gain admin access to a Windows domain controller, they deploy their ransomware throughout the network to encrypt all devices.

Unlike many ransomware operations that claim to avoid emergency services and healthcare facilities, Hive pays no attention to who they target.

The ransomware group is responsible for numerous victims, including attacks on the Nonprofit Memorial Health System, retail giant MediaMarkt, Bell Technical Solutions (BTS)and Tata powerthem New York Racing Association.

In November 2022, the The FBI said that the ransomware operation has generated approximately $100 million from more than a thousand companies since June 2021.

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