DC police: Cyberattack affected surveillance cams before inauguration

Hackers planted ransomware in 70 percent of the recording devices

By Police1 Staff

WASHINGTON — Police surveillance cameras stationed around D.C. were unable to record days before President Donald Trump’s inauguration, authorities said Friday. 

The Washington Post reported that the hackers targeted the surveillance system’s storage devices with ransomware. The attack affected 123 of 187 video cameras, leaving them unable to record between Jan. 12 and Jan. 15. 

On Jan. 12, police noticed that four of the sites weren’t functioning correctly and reported it to authorities. After an investigation, they found more infected camera sites. 

Archana Vemulapalli, D.C.’s Chief Technology Officer, told the publication that they are investigating the source of the hacking, but the cyberattack was confined to the police CCTV cameras. It did not extend deeper into the computer networks. 

Vemulapalli said although the hack appeared to be an extortion effort, the city paid no ransom and no criminal investigations were affected. 

A Secret Service official said the public’s safety was never jeopardized. 

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