Babuk Locker, a Russian ransomware group, is threatening to expose criminal informants to local gangs.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – A Russia-based ransomware gang has executed a ransomware attack on the Washington D.C. Police Department, and is threatening to leak department data unless the Department meets it’s ransom demand. In a sinister turn of events, the hackers have said they will send the names and identities of informants to gangs in the DC area.
The Department has been relatively quiet in its response, but Sean Hickman of the D.C. Police did say “We are aware of unauthorized access on our server.” In an update, hackers released screenshots of the files it stole, and made those screenshots public on its website (see below).
Who Is the Babuk Locker Gang?
Babuk Locker Gang is a relatively new arrival to the ransomware scene, having only begun operations in January 2021. They have already hit some very high profile targets, including the NBA’s Houston Rockets.
The group separates itself from other ransomware gangs because its strain has the ability to encrypt files on virtual hard drives. Darkside and RansomExx are the only other known strains with this capability.
Ongoing Federal Response
Last week, the Biden administration named John Carlin to head a ransomware task force of F.B.I. agents and prosecutors.
Carlin notes that “Ransomware can have devastating human and financial consequences. When criminals target critical infrastructure such as hospitals, utilities and municipal networks, their activity jeopardizes the safety and health of Americans.”
In a similar attack on the police department of Stuart, Florida in April 2019, prosecutors had to drop 11 narcotics cases against six drug-dealing suspects after evidence was destroyed by hackers.
Related: Apple Hit with $50M Ransom Demand