Ransomware Takes Out 70 Percent of Washington
Ransomware Takes Out 70 Percent of Washington, D.C. Security Cameras
From “Ransomware Takes Out 70 Percent of Washington, D.C. Security Cameras”
eWeek (01/30/17) Rash, Wayne
For several days the week before the presidential inauguration, a ransomware attack disabled 127 of 183 networked video recorders used by police in Washington, D.C. Each of the networked video recorders is attached to multiple surveillance cameras, so each of the devices is recording as many as four video sessions. The ransomware infection was discovered on Jan. 12, 2017, by the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department, which then notified the city’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO). Fortunately, the networks supporting the surveillance cameras were not integrated into the city’s operational network, so the ransomware was unable to spread beyond the networked video recorders. Therefore, OCTO employees were able to erase the content of the digital video recorders and reinstall the operating software. This process enabled city employees to recover and regain access to their video surveillance recorders in three days. No ransom was paid and no critical evidence was lost, according to city officials. Hackers are increasingly targeting networked Internet of Things devices such as surveillance cameras that lack adequate security defenses.