Russian Ransomware Attack: Syndicate Claims Washington DC’s Network Breach


The Washington D.C. police department has confirmed on Monday that hackers have breached its computer network. It was probably done under the influence of a Russian ransomware attack wherein the Russian-speaking syndicate claimed to have stolen the sensitive data, including the informants. The cartel has threatened to release the data to the local criminal gangs if the cops deny paying an unspecified ransom. 

The threat actors have furthermost posted the screenshots supporting their claim on their dark web website. The screenshots reveal that they have stolen over 250 gigabytes of personal information from Washington D.C’s database.

The District of Columbia’s Metropolitan Police Department mentioned in a statement that it had urged the FBI to investigate the unauthorized access. However, there was no indication of the affected police operations owing to the Russian Ransomware Attack. The department has also chosen not to reveal immediately whether the ransomware had hit it. 

The Russian ransomware attack syndicate is relatively a new ransomware gang known by the name “Babuk Group”. The group had revealed on its darknet site that it had downloaded a sufficient amount of information from Washington D.C. ‘s computer networks. The group has also provided the cops with three days of maximum time to contact them, otherwise which they said – 

“we will start to contact gangs in order to drain the informants.”

Image: McAfee

The screenshots that they had posted online revealed that the group possesses data from at least four computers. The stolen information includes the intelligence reports, the jail census, data on the gang conflicts and various other administrative files. One of the images of the network locations that the criminals accessed displayed a text document on one computer entitled “How To Restore Your Files”.

This type of documents usually includes core instructions on how the victims can contact the ransomware criminals. These ransomware criminals’ standard modus operandi is to exfiltrate the sensitive personal data from the networks they infiltrate. The criminals sow malware which, when activated, encrypts the data. The criminals offer the software keys only after receiving the ransom payment. These software keys can unscramble the data. 

Twenty-six government agencies in the U.S. have been hit by ransomware attacks so far this year. Around 16 agency’s data have been released online stolen from them. These statistics have been brought about by the ransomware analyst Brett Callow, Emsisoft cybersecurity firm. The ransomware victims do not always pay, and they proceed to rebuild the networks from backups. 

The D.C. police department has mentioned that it was taking the cyber threat quite seriously.

“We are aware of unauthorized access on our server. While we determine the full impact and continue to review activity, we have engaged the FBI to fully investigate this matter,” the department statement said. An FBI spokeswoman had no immediate comment.

Many consider the global epidemic of ransomware attacks to be worsening and is a national security threat. These threats are causing damage in tens of billions of dollars. It seems that U.S. law enforcement is relatively possessing less power for counteracting it. This is because the majority of the criminals enjoy a safe hub in Russia and the other nations bearing weak law rules.

Source: MSN

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