IT Pro is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

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 DattoFree download

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

Accelerating AI modernisation with data infrastructure

Generate business value from your AI initiatives

Free Download

Recommendations for managing AI risks

Integrate your external AI tool findings into your broader security programs

Free Download

Modernise your legacy databases in the cloud

An introduction to cloud databases

Free Download

Powering through to innovation

IT agility drive digital transformation

Free Download

Recommended

Darktrace AI’s Antigena helps stop ransomware attack at Dordogne GHT
ransomware

Darktrace AI’s Antigena helps stop ransomware attack at Dordogne GHT

13 Apr 2022
Sabbath hackers are targeting US schools and hospitals
ransomware

Sabbath hackers are targeting US schools and hospitals

29 Nov 2021
US government warns of increased risk of ransomware over holiday season
ransomware

US government warns of increased risk of ransomware over holiday season

24 Nov 2021
Out-of-hours ransomware attacks have a greater impact on revenue
ransomware

Out-of-hours ransomware attacks have a greater impact on revenue

18 Nov 2021

Most Popular

FCC commissioner urges Apple and Google to remove TikTok from app stores
data protection

FCC commissioner urges Apple and Google to remove TikTok from app stores

29 Jun 2022
Former Uber security chief to face fraud charges over hack coverup
data breaches

Former Uber security chief to face fraud charges over hack coverup

29 Jun 2022
Internet providers look to ease cost of living crisis with cheaper broadband
broadband

Internet providers look to ease cost of living crisis with cheaper broadband

29 Jun 2022