The data recording devices from D.C Police surveillance cameras were infected but by ransomware by hackers, days before the inauguration of president Trump.
According to the Washington Post, nearly 70 percent of the storage devices mentioned above are infected, this forced citywide reinstallation efforts, especially ever since it all happened eight straight days before one of the biggest events of this year.
What kind of virus is used to attack the storage devices? Well, it seems that this was one of the most popular types used in the recent days – ransomware. The whole thing left for the police cameras is being unable to record any footage between January 12 and then January 15, putting entire population at risk even despite officials rebuttal of this notion.
The cyber attack reportedly affected 123 of total 187 video recorders in that city’s closed-circuit TV system, the police admitted. The intrusion was then confined to the CCTV cameras that monitor public areas, without expanding deeper into city’s computer network.
It seems that no ransom was actually paid before the storage devices were put back to rights and the surveillance cameras were back to work. Instead, the devices were taken offline, all software was removed, and the systems were restarted at each site.
Ransomware malware is one of the most used types of hacking methods used these days. Hackers trick people into clicking on a link or open an email attachment, such as a PDF, which then lets loose the malware into the computer. The files are immediately encrypted, and users are locked out until they pay a sum of money, usually after Bitcoin since it is untraceable.
This is a method that is now tentatively crossing over to mobile devices too, although it is not nearly as widespread.