FBI Alerts About Hive Ransomware Amidst Rising Attacks On Healthcare Systems

FBI has recently issued a detailed alert about the Hive ransomware that is actively targeting healthcare systems. The new ransomware exhibits robust file encryption capabilities and even terminates backups to strengthen the attack.

FBI Warns About Hive Ransomware

In a flash alert, FBI Cyber Division has elaborated on Hive ransomware that has emerged as a potent cyber threat.

Briefly, Hive ransomware also works on the double-extortion strategy as it steals data before encryption. Whereas, it exploits phishing emails to bluff business users to exfiltrate the network. The malware embedded in the phishing email attachments gains access to the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) for lateral movement on the network.

Once established, it then terminates processes related to backups and file copying, terminates antivirus programs such as Windows Defender, deletes antivirus definitions, attempts to delete Volume Shadow Copies, modifies bootup to prevent recovery alongside other malicious activities.

Finally, it encrypts the victim’s data not before stealing it that it publishes on its dark web leak site in case of failure of ransom payments. The malware appends a “.hive” or “.key” extension to the filenames of encrypted files. Sometimes, it may also append a double extension “.key.hive” to the file name.

Alongside placing the ransom note in every affected directory, the ransomware employs another strategy to urge victims for ransom payments. As the FBI stated, some victims also receive phone calls from the threat actors.

FBI has issued this alert amidst the rising attacks on healthcare systems from this ransomware. Recently, Hive ransomware attacked the Memorial Health System, compelling the staff to work manually. The attackers also stole data of about 200,000 patients during the attack. Whereas, since its emergence in June 2021, it has attacked at least 28 different victims.

Recently, the Palo Alto Networks Unit 42 also mentioned Hive as one of the four major cyber threats in its report. The other three threats include AvosLocker ransomware, the infamous HelloKitty ransomware, and LockBit 2.0 ransomware.

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