The ransomware menace is spreading like wildfire. And while the law-and-order machinery seems to be putting out this fire, they seem to have been bearing the brunt of it too. The operators of the latest ransomware threat – Babuk – have threatened to leak critical data which can potentially expose several Metropolitan Police Departments’ investigations and their confidential informants.
Babuk’s Latest Victim
Babuk ransomware gang, which was first discovered at the beginning of the year, is popularly known to use the double extortion technique: download and encrypt. This way they lay hands on sensitive information, which can be further leveraged to pressurize their victims into paying a ransom. In a post published on its leak website, Babuk operators claimed that they had successfully targeted the systems of the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police Department and downloaded 250GB worth of sensitive and highly confidential information.
Screenshots shared online suggest that the exfiltrated data contains the following:
- Investigation reports
- Officer disciplinary files
- Documents on local gangs
- Administrative files
Babuk Warns of “Larger Attacks”
Initially, the Babuk ransomware operators said that they would remain tight-lipped about this attack and expected the Metropolitan Police Department to reach out to them for paying the ransom to avoid further trouble. Sean Hickman, a public spokesperson for D.C. Police, acknowledged this attack and said, “We are aware of unauthorized access on our server.” However, there seems to be inaction from the department’s side due to which the Babuk operators updated their warning on their leak website. It now reads:
Hello! Even an institution such as D.C. can be threatened, we have downloaded a sufficient amount of information from your internal networks, and we advise you to contact us as soon as possible, to prevent leakage, if no response is received within 3 days, we will start to contact gangs in order to drain the informants, we will continue to attack the state sector of the USA, FBI, CSA, we find 0 day before you, even larger attacks await you soon.
To further investigate the extent and impact of the attack, the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department has engaged with the FBI.