Washington Police Department Data Stolen, Extorted

The Washington, D.C., Police Department admitted on Monday (April 26) that the agency’s computers were hacked. A Russian-speaking ransomware group claimed responsibility and threatened to share the data with local criminal gangs unless a ransom was paid.

Working with the D.C. government and federal partners, we have determined what happened and have blocked the breach that allowed unauthorized access, said Robert Contee, acting chief of police, in a video statement.

A Russian ransomware group known as Babuk claims to have stolen more than 250 gigabytes of data, including police reports and internal memos, some of which were linked to criminal gang activity. The group told Washington, D.C., police it had three days to pay an unspecified ransom before it sold the information on the dark web.

Conti advised all D.C. police officers to maintain good Internet usage habits, including setting complex passwords, multiple layers of login authentication and not clicking on unknown links and e-mails.

Investigators are still assessing the impact of the hack.