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 photos; fingerprints; social safety numbers; dates of delivery; and residential, monetary, and marriage histories.
The information, included in a 161MB obtain from a web site on the darkish internet, was made obtainable after negotiations broke down between members of the Babuk ransomware group and MPD officers, based on 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 trade for a promise to not publish any extra info and supply a decryption key that will restore the information.
“You’re a state establishment, deal with your knowledge with respect and take into consideration their value,” the operators mentioned, based on the transcript. “They price much more than 4,000,000, do you perceive that?”
“Our last proposal is to supply to pay $100,000 to stop the discharge of the stolen knowledge,” the MPD negotiator finally replied. “If this provide is just not acceptable, then it appears our dialog is full. I feel we perceive the results of not reaching an settlement. We’re OK with that consequence.”
“That is unacceptable from our aspect,” 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 supplied 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 worth the division was prepared 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 concerning 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 knowledge but additionally in trade for the promise to not make any of the information obtainable publicly. The operators usually leak small quantities of knowledge in hopes of motivating the victims to pay the charge. If victims refuse, future releases embody ever extra non-public and delicate info.
The ransomware assault on the MPD has no recognized connection to the one which has hit Colonial Pipeline.