Washington, DC’s police department has recently confirmed its servers have been breached after hackers began leaking its data online, The New York Times reports. In a statement, the department confirmed it was aware of unauthorized access on our server and said it was working with the FBI to investigate the incident. The hacked data appears to include details on arrests and persons of interest.
The attack is believed to be the work of Babuk, a group known for its ransomware attacks. BleepingComputer reports that the gang has already released screenshots of the 250GB of data it’s allegedly stolen. One of the files is claimed to relate to arrests made following the January Capitol riots.
The group warns it will start leaking information about police informants to criminal gangs if the police department doesn’t contact it within three days.
The targeting of police departments is believed to be part of a wider trend of attacks targeting government bodies. Twenty-six agencies are believed to have been hit by ransomware in this year alone, with 16 of them seeing their data released online, according to Emsisoft ransomware analyst Brett Callow, Sky News notes.
The Justice Department reports that the average ransom demand has grown to over $100,000 as the attacks surged during the pandemic.