Serco hackers hit Washington DC police with ransomware

The Russian hacking group is threatening to release information regarding informants if the ransom demand isn't paid

The Washington DC police department said on Monday that it has called in the FBI to investigate a breach of its IT systems. 

The acknowledgement came after Russian ransomware gang Babuk claimed to have stolen sensitive data, including informant details, that it is threatening to share with criminal gangs unless the force pays a ransom, according to reports

The Babuk group posted on a dark web site that it had "downloaded a sufficient amount of information from internal networks" and shared screenshots of the 250GB of data it claims to have taken. It gave the police three days to contact them or "we will start to contact gangs in order to drain the informants". 

The DC Metropolitan Police Department said in a statement that there was no indication that any police operations were affected, and the department did not immediately say whether it had been hit by ransomware.

"We are aware of unauthorised access on our server," the department statement said. "While we determine the full impact and continue to review activity, we have engaged the FBI to fully investigate this matter."

The US, in particular, has seen significant disruption due to ransomware attacks with the hack on the DC police department just one of 26 incidents just this year. Hackers also were also causing damage long before the pandemic with government agencies and towns in Florida being completely shut down.

Related Resource

The business guide to ransomware

Everything you need to know to keep your company afloat

The business guide to ransomware - whitepaper from DattoDownload now

The Babuk group is also growing its reputation with a spate of 'successful' attacks across the globe. In February, the group targeted Serco, the firm behind the UK's NHS Test and Trace system. 

The gang is said to be a relatively 'green' and unsophisticated organisation. According to PwC, the code the group originally used contained errors that kept it from fully compromising certain targets.

"We assess that, due to a disregard for error checking, Babuk would fail to execute altogether in some environments," the firm said, according to CyberScoop.

Featured Resources

Preparing for AI-enabled cyber attacks

MIT technology review insights

Download now

Cloud storage performance analysis

Storage performance and value of the IONOS cloud Compute Engine

Download now

The Forrester Wave: Top security analytics platforms

The 11 providers that matter most and how they stack up

Download now

Harness data to reinvent your organisation

Build a data strategy for the next wave of cloud innovation

Download now

Recommended

New ransomware group is attacking US firms and educational establishments
ransomware

New ransomware group is attacking US firms and educational establishments

15 Jul 2021
Interpol calls for more action to prevent "ransomware pandemic"
cyber security

Interpol calls for more action to prevent "ransomware pandemic"

13 Jul 2021
84% of organizations experienced phishing or ransomware attacks in the last year
ransomware

84% of organizations experienced phishing or ransomware attacks in the last year

12 Jul 2021
Best ransomware removal tools
ransomware

Best ransomware removal tools

9 Jul 2021

Most Popular

RMIT to be first Australian university to implement AWS supercomputing facility
high-performance computing (HPC)

RMIT to be first Australian university to implement AWS supercomputing facility

28 Jul 2021
Square to acquire Afterpay for $29 billion
mergers and acquisitions

Square to acquire Afterpay for $29 billion

2 Aug 2021
Zyxel USG Flex 200 review: A timely and effective solution
Security

Zyxel USG Flex 200 review: A timely and effective solution

28 Jul 2021