DC police said on Tuesday that they have identified a person of interest in connection with the reposting of officers’ personal information stolen by hackers last week on social media.
The Department had released a photo of the person a day before, asking for the public’s assistance to identify him. The man’s name has not been announced.
It became public in late April that MPD’s computer network was breached by a Russian-speaking hacking group named the Babuk group, which used ransomware to block access to the system and asked for a payment not to release the data.
On May 11, the criminals released the 250 GB data they illegally accessed on the dark web, after their negotiations with MPD failed. The group claimed in a statement on their website that they asked for $4 million, while MPD offered to pay a sum of $100,000 in ransom to prevent the release, which they rejected.
The individual has been identified. The case remains under investigation. https://t.co/e1nYe7IZ48
— DC Police Department (@DCPoliceDept) May 17, 2021
The data leak is considered to be one of the worst ransomware attacks targeting a police department around the nation as it includes personal files about more than 20 officers, investigation reports, disciplinary actions, as well as details on inner workings of the FBI, Secret Service, and other law enforcement agencies.
“The negotiations reached a dead end, the amount we were offered does not suit us,” the hackers wrote on their website on Monday, May 10. “We are posting 20 more personal files on officers, you can download this archive, the password will be released tomorrow. if during tomorrow they do not raise the price, we will release all the data. You still have the ability to stop it.”
The Babuk group also posted screenshots alleged to be taken from their negotiations with DC police.
“Our final proposal is an offer to pay $100,000 to prevent the release of the stolen data. If this offer is not acceptable, then it seems our conversation is complete. I think we both understand the consequences of not reaching an agreement. We are OK with that outcome,” MPD said in a message, according to The Hacker News.
“We are some kind of a cyberpunks, we randomly test corporate networks security and in case of penetration, we ask money, and publish the information about threats and vulnerabilities we found, in our blog if company doesn’t want to pay,” says the group about itself.