Ransomware crooks post cops’ psych evaluations after talks with DC police stall

A ransomware gang that hacked the District of Columbia’s Metropolitan Police Division (MPD) in April posted personnel data on Tuesday that exposed extremely delicate particulars for nearly two dozen officers, together with the outcomes of psychological assessments and polygraph exams; driver’s license photographs; fingerprints; social safety numbers; dates of start; and residential, monetary, and marriage histories.

The info, included in a 161MB obtain from a web site on the darkish net, was made accessible 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 info 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 data and supply a decryption key that might restore the info.

“You’re a state establishment, deal with your information with respect and take into consideration their value,” the operators stated, 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 information,” the MPD negotiator finally replied. “If this supply will not be acceptable, then it appears our dialog is full. I feel we perceive the implications of not reaching an settlement. We’re OK with that end result.”

“That is unacceptable from our aspect,” the ransomware consultant replied. “Observe our web site at midnight.”

A submit on the group’s web site stated, “The negotiations reached a useless finish, the quantity we have been supplied doesn’t go well with 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, net 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 nearly all ransomware operators nowadays, these with Babuk make use of a double extortion mannequin, which prices not just for the decryption key to unlock the stolen information but additionally in trade for the promise to not make any of the info accessible publicly. The operators usually leak small quantities of information in hopes of motivating the victims to pay the payment. If victims refuse, future releases embody ever extra personal and delicate data.

The ransomware assault on the MPD has no recognized connection to the one which has hit Colonial Pipeline.

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