- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 12, 2021

D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said Wednesday that officials are still working to address a cyber gang that is threatening to release sensitive information stolen from the Metropolitan Police Department if a ransom is not paid.

“[W]e’re engaging our processes that we plan in the event that we’ve dealt with something like this, and that’s all I have to say,” the mayor said during a press conference.

The Babuk group — a Russian-speaking ransomware syndicate — posted information from some police officers’ confidential background checks when the extortion attempt first began late last month and again Monday, The Associated Press reported.

On Tuesday, the hackers allegedly uploaded screenshots that suggest their $4 million ransom was met with a $100,000 counteroffer — which they said was not enough.

If the police department does not “raise the price,” the group reportedly said they will release “all the data,” including details on confidential informants.

The police department did not immediately respond to an email request for comment sent Wednesday.

Ransomware attacks are typically carried out by criminal hackers who scramble data, paralyzing victim networks, and demand large payments to decrypt it.

This story is based in part on wire service reports.

• Emily Zantow can be reached at ezantow@washingtontimes.com.

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