The Washington, D.C. police department said Monday that its computer network was breached, and a Russian-speaking ransomware syndicate claimed to have stolen sensitive data, including information on informants, that it threatened to share with local criminal gangs unless police paid an unspecified ransom.
The cybercriminals posted screenshots on their dark web site supporting their claim to have stolen more than 250 gigabytes of data, Fox News reports.
The District of Columbia's Metropolitan Police Department said in a statement that it had asked the FBI to investigate the "unauthorized access." There was no indication that any police operations were affected, and the department did not immediately say whether it had been hit by ransomware.
The Babuk group, a relatively new ransomware gang, said on its website that it had "downloaded a sufficient amount of information from your internal networks" and gave the police three days to contact it or "we will start to contact gangs in order to drain the informants."
Screenshots it posted suggested it has data from at least four computers, including intelligence reports, information on gang conflicts, the jail census and other administrative files. One of the images, apparently of network locations accessed by the criminals, showed a text document on one computer titled "How To Restore Your Files."
The D.C. police department said it was taking the threat seriously.