Ransomware gangs get more aggressive against law enforcement

Ransomware gangs get more aggressive against law enforcement

Posted May 9, 2021

Ransomware gangs get more aggressive against law enforcement

  • Police Chief Will Cunningham came to work four years ago to find that his six-officer department was the victim of a crime.
  • Hackers had taken advantage of a weak password to break in and encrypt the files of the department in Roxana, a small town in Illinois near St. Louis, and were demanding $6,000 of bitcoin.
  • Police Chief Will Cunningham came to work four years ago to find that his six-officer department was the victim of a crime.
  • Hackers had taken advantage of a weak password to break in and encrypt the files of the department in Roxana, a small town in Illinois near St. Louis, and were demanding $6,000 of bitcoin.
  • In Washington, D.C., a Russian-speaking ransomware syndicate called Babuk hacked into the network of the city’s police department and threatened to leak the identities of confidential informants unless an unspecified ransom was paid.
  • A day after the initial threat was posted in late April, the gang tried to spur payment by leaking personal information of some police officers taken from background checks, including details of officers’ past drug use, finances and — in at least one incident — of past sexual abuse.
  • The police chief said he didn’t have to pay the hackers because the files were backed up and the department bought new computer equipment for roughly the same amount as the ransom demand.

– Alan Suderman | May 9, 2021