DC Police Victims of Massive Data Leakage by Ransomware Gang

Richmond, Virginia (AP) — The capital police station is suffering from a major leak of inside information after refusing to meet the demands of Russian-speaking blackmail. Ransomware Syndicate. According to experts, attacking a US police station is the worst ransomware attack ever.

The gang, known as the Babuk Group, published thousands of confidential Metropolitan Police Department documents on the dark web on Thursday. The Associated Press review found hundreds of police officer disciplinary files and intelligence reports, including feeds from other agencies, including the FBI and the Secret Service.

Ransomware Attacks are widespread The level at which foreign criminal organizations paralyze the computer networks of state governments, local governments, police stations, hospitals, and private companies. They demand large payments to prevent the stolen data from being decrypted or leaked online.

Last week’s cyberattack closed the colonial pipeline, the country’s largest fuel pipeline. Encourage gas storage Panic buying in parts of the southeast.

Brett Callow, a threat analyst and ransomware expert at security firm Emsisoft, ranked police leaks as “the most serious ransomware incident ever” because they pose a risk to executives and civilians. I said there is.

Some documents contain security information from other law enforcement agencies related to President Joe Biden’s inauguration, including references to “sources” embedded in the militia group.

One document details the steps taken by the FBI in investigating two pipe bombs left at the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee and the Republican National Committee before the riots at the US Capitol on January 6. I will. The document said it plans to “analyze the purchase” of the cell tower, and the Nike shoes worn by interested parties.

Police did not immediately return a request for comment, but previously said that the personal information of some officers had been stolen.

Some of that information was previously leaked, revealing personal information about some officers obtained from background checks, including details of past drug use, finances, and (in at least one case) past sexual abuse. I made it.

The newly released file contains details of the disciplinary proceedings of hundreds of officers dating back to 2004. Files often contain sensitive and embarrassing personal information.

“This will shock the law enforcement community across the country,” said Ted Williams, a former officer of the department who is now a lawyer. He represents a retired officer whose background file was included in a previous leak.

Williams said publishing background checks and disciplinary files would make it harder for police officers to work.

“The more scammers know about law enforcement officers, the more scammers try to use it for their own benefit,” he said.

The Babuk group wanted $ 4 million not to release the file this week, but showed that it was only offered $ 100,000.

The department does not say whether it made an offer. Negotiations reflect the complexity of the ransomware issue, forcing police to consider paying criminal gangs. The FBI, which helps in this case, is discouraging ransomware payments.

The group revealed the attack last month and threatened to divulge the identity of the confidential informant. The data release revealed on Thursday was large and it was not immediately clear whether it contained the name of the informant.