A ransomware gang that hacked the District of Columbia’s Metropolitan Police Division (MPD) in April posted personnel information on Tuesday that exposed extremely delicate particulars for nearly two dozen officers, together with the outcomes of psychological assessments and polygraph checks; driver’s license photographs; fingerprints; social safety numbers; dates of delivery; and residential, monetary, and marriage histories.
The information, included in a 161MB obtain from an internet site on the darkish internet, was made out there after negotiations broke down between members of the Babuk ransomware group and MPD officers, in response to screenshots purporting to be chat transcripts between the 2 organizations. After earlier threatening to leak the names of confidential informants to crime gangs, the operators agreed to take away the information whereas they carried out the now-aborted negotiations, the transcripts confirmed.
“That is unacceptable”
The operators demanded $4 million in alternate for a promise to not publish any extra data and supply a decryption key that will restore the information.
“You’re a state establishment, deal with your information with respect and take into consideration their worth,” the operators mentioned, in response to the transcript. “They price much more than 4,000,000, do you perceive that?”
“Our ultimate proposal is to supply to pay $100,000 to stop the discharge of the stolen information,” the MPD negotiator ultimately replied. “If this supply is just not acceptable, then it appears our dialog is full. I feel we perceive the implications of not reaching an settlement. We’re OK with that final result.”
“That is unacceptable from our facet,” the ransomware consultant replied. “Comply with our web site at midnight.”
A submit on the group’s web site mentioned, “The negotiations reached a lifeless finish, the quantity we have been provided doesn’t go well with us, we’re posting 20 extra private information on officers.” The 161MB file was password-protected. The operators later printed the passphrase after MPD officers refused to lift the value the division was keen to pay.
Three of the names listed within the personnel information matched the names of officers who work for the MPD, internet searches confirmed. The information have been based mostly on background investigations of job candidates into account to be employed by the division.
MPD representatives didn’t reply to questions in regards to the authenticity of the transcripts or the present standing of negotiations.
Like nearly all ransomware operators today, these with Babuk make use of a double extortion mannequin, which expenses not just for the decryption key to unlock the stolen information but in addition in alternate for the promise to not make any of the information out there publicly. The operators usually leak small quantities of information in hopes of motivating the victims to pay the payment. If victims refuse, future releases embrace ever extra non-public and delicate data.
The ransomware assault on the MPD has no recognized connection to the one which has hit Colonial Pipeline.