Ransomware Hackers Threaten to Expose D.C. Police Files – Including List of Informants

WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 11: Police patrol outside the White House on August 11, 2018 in Washington, DC. A 'Unite the Right' rally featuring white supremacist forces and counter protesters is planned for tomorrow in Washington, DC. (Photo by Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images)
Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images

Ransomware hackers have reportedly breached the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department’s computer network in a targeted cyberattack and are threatening to release sensitive data including lists of police informants if the ransom is not paid.

BBC News reports that the Washington DC Metropolitan Police Department recently revealed that its computer network was breached in a targeted cyberattack. A ransomware group known as Babuk is reportedly threatening to release sensitive information on police informants if not contacted within the next several days.

The FBI is reportedly investigating the breach. Washington DC’s Police Department stated that it was “aware of unauthorized access on our server.” The department added: “While we determine the full impact and continue to review activity, we have engaged the FBI to fully investigate this matter.”

It is unclear whether not the hackers managed to lock the police out of their systems. Babuk, a Russian ransomware group that rose to prominence earlier this year, stated that it had downloaded “a sufficient amount of information” from the police department’s internal network.

Screenshots that were allegedly posted to the dark web by the group and shared on social media suggest that it gained access to information on criminal gang activity and police intelligence reports.

James Smith, the head of the UK-based cybersecurity consultancy firm Bridewell Consulting, commented: “With these types of attacks, the data has probably been stolen already, before it was encrypted, and the likelihood that the data will be sold or stored by the hacker is great.”

Earlier this month, Babuk targeted the Houston Rockets basketball team with ransomware and claimed to have documents including player contracts and financial data. A spokesperson for the Houston Rockets stated that while the group had accessed some information, it failed to install the ransomware because of a security system.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address lucasnolan@protonmail.com

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