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Ransomware Attack Hits Surveillance System of District Columbia Police


The police department of District of Columbia had its video surveillance machines compromised with a ransomware assault 8 days prior to Donald J. Trump's presidential inauguration. Video storage machines associated with 70% of the close circuit television devices could not capture any footage during January 12-15, 2017, while technical experts in the police department pressed hard to fight malware infecting 123 shared video recorders out of their total 187. The Washington Post said so on January 27, 2017.

However, according to Secret Service Official Brian Ebert, even while the cameras stopped working, public's safety wasn't in danger.

Albeit District Columbia categorized the malware discovered as ransomware, there doesn't seem to be any ransom demanded. The problem in the city was rectified after the storage machines were disconnected from the Internet, all their computer programs removed followed with restarting them.

Senior Fellow James Scott at the Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology noted that within the above incident, the public weren't aware of the attack's happening and that was beneficial. Tech News World posted this online dated January 31, 2017.

Scott continued that till the time the common public didn't know of the attack, the CCTV itself prevented crime for, the potential offenders weren't conscious that ransomware had infected it.

Earlier, there have been instances when similar kind of attacks targeted infrastructures of other municipalities. Last autumn, a ransomware assault deactivated the machines producing tickets to passengers of the metro rail in San Francisco for nearly 24 hours. The CCTV ransomware incident was an accurate example about hackers abusing municipal systems, thus giving rise to any kind of havoc, Scott told Tech News World.

According to senior security researcher Jean-Philippe Taggart with Malwarebytes, there were increasing ransomware assaults on Internet of things that was an unfortunate trend.

He notes cyber-criminals had a good number of probable targets such as hotel locks, CCTVs, hospitals and libraries to select from, as told to Tech News World.

Ransomware is now one profitable business for hackers thus making it a problem ever continuing. In 2016, digital extortionists were paid a computed billion dollars, reports Herjavec Group.

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