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 pictures; fingerprints; social safety numbers; dates of beginning; and residential, monetary, and marriage histories.
The info, included in a 161MB obtain from a web site on the darkish internet, was made out there after negotiations broke down between members of the Babuk ransomware group and MPD officers, in line with 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 info whereas they carried out the now-aborted negotiations, the transcripts confirmed.
“That is unacceptable”
The operators demanded $4 million in change for a promise to not publish any extra info and supply a decryption key that will restore the info.
“You’re a state establishment, deal with your information with respect and take into consideration their value,” the operators mentioned, in line with the transcript. “They value much more than 4,000,000, do you perceive that?”
“Our remaining proposal is to supply to pay $100,000 to stop the discharge of the stolen information,” the MPD negotiator finally replied. “If this supply shouldn’t be acceptable, then it appears our dialog is full. I feel we perceive the results of not reaching an settlement. We’re OK with that end result.”
“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 useless finish, the quantity we have been supplied doesn’t swimsuit us, we’re posting 20 extra private recordsdata 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 recordsdata matched the names of officers who work for the MPD, internet searches confirmed. The recordsdata 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 just about all ransomware operators nowadays, 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 change for the promise to not make any of the info out there publicly. The operators usually leak small quantities of knowledge in hopes of motivating the victims to pay the payment. If victims refuse, future releases embrace ever extra personal and delicate info.
The ransomware assault on the MPD has no identified connection to the one which has hit Colonial Pipeline.