Hackers threatened to release 250 gigabytes of confidential Metropolitan Police Department files unless Washington, D.C., officials pay a $4 million ransom, the DCist reported Tuesday.
The Russian-speaking hackers are part of a group known as Babuk, which allegedly posted 20 Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) officers’ personnel files after stealing 250 gigabytes of internal data, the DCist reported. Babuk said negotiations with officials “reached a dead end” and reportedly posted chat logs where officials offered $100,000 to the group.
“The amount we were offered does not suit us… if during tomorrow they do not raise the price, we will release all the data,” Babuk posted on its website, according to the DCist.
This DC Metro Police ransomware situation was knocked out of the headlines by the Colonial Pipeline hack, but this is escalating: https://t.co/DZGeJj3UpO
— AJ Vicens (@AJVicens) May 11, 2021
Babuk reportedly posted personnel files on five current and former MPD officers late last month, according to The Washington Post. The files included Social Security numbers, financial and housing records, polygraph assessments and other personal information, Emsisoft Analyst Brett Callow said, the Post reported.
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said “we have a process in place and we’re following that process,” according to the DCist.
Babuk told the MPD to “get in touch as soon as possible and pay us, otherwise we will publish the data,” the Post reported. The group eventually took down the five personnel files and posted another threat directed at the MPD, according to the Post.
In alleged chat logs, Babuk told city officials the MPD should be able to afford the ransom since they’re located in the capital, according to the DCist.
Babuk “started this business very recently, with limited ransomware coding experience,” according to an analysis from tech security company McAfee. The group reportedly focused on private businesses before targeting government agencies.
The MPD did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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