The Babuk ransomware gang that hacked the Washington, DC Metropolitan Police Department, leaked on May 11 the profiles of 22 police officers, as part of an attempted blackmail. The records of current and former police officers are detailed and include personal information such as Social security numbers, dates of birth, psychological evaluation results, copies of driving licenses, fingerprints, duplication test results, and residence, financial and marriage history.
The Washington Metropolitan Police Department was first breached in April. The Babuk ransomware gang soon took over responsibility, and later published the profiles of 5 police officers, which it then deleted after starting negotiations with the department.
However, these negotiations do not seem to have worked well for the department. According to alleged correspondence with the department published by the hackers on 11 May, requested 4 million so as not to publish more stolen files. The department responded with one offer 100.000 dollars, saying that "his expenses are closely controlled". The hackers replied that the offer was "unacceptable".
The hack that took place at the Washington Metropolitan Police Department is completely different from the hack in Colonial pipeline and was carried out by a different group - however in both cases they appear to be Russian-speaking hackers. But both are part of a growing trend of ransomware attacks, in which increasingly organized cybercriminals, usually based in Russia or Eastern Europe, target US entities and demand money either to unlock their computers or not to leak sensitive data.
It is worth noting that, this year alone, more than 100 cyberattacks have been confirmed against U.S. targets, including state and local governments, schools, financial institutions, health care and construction organizations, according to a cybersecurity company analysis. Recorded Future. The ransomware cost the victims about $ 75 billion in 2020, according to an estimate by cybersecurity company Emsisoft.
Recent US cyber-attacks include Oklahoma City's Tulsa, which announced on 8 May that it was attacked by ransomware, which resulted in the termination of some of its services. Another ransomware gang (REvil) hacked a major Apple vendor in April - How much, based in Taiwan - and leaked plans for Apple devices. In addition, a Southern California hospital chain - Scripps Health - is trying to recover from a severe ransomware attack, from the 1st of May.
Philip Reiner, CEO of the Institute for Security and Technology (San Francisco think tank looking for solutions to major cybersecurity problems), said that while ransomware has been a problem for years, gangs have only recently realized how much money they can make. by some American entities.
The Biden government has not yet released a plan to tackle ransomware gangs, but is preparing a formal strategy, the first of its kind, an international plan on how to stop them, and an executive mandate to improve federal cybersecurity. government.
Katie Nickels, director of information at the cybersecurity company Red Canary, said recent ransomware attacks are finally drawing enough attention for the US to begin a slow process of trying to stop them.
Source of information: nbcnews.com