Romanian hackers arrested for shutting down 65 percent of DC surveillance cameras before Trump inauguration - Technical.ly DC

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Jan. 3, 2018 12:59 pm

Romanian hackers arrested for shutting down 65 percent of DC surveillance cameras before Trump inauguration

The January 2017 incident affected 123 cameras.
Trump Inauguration Protest, Jan. 20, 2017.

Trump Inauguration Protest, Jan. 20, 2017.

(Photo by James Cullum)

Two Romanian citizens face 20 years in prison for a ransomware attack that shut down recording capabilities of 65 percent of the D.C. Police Department’s outdoor surveillance cameras shortly before last year’s inauguration of U.S. President Donald Trump.

The attack affected 123 of the MPDC’s 187 outdoor surveillance camera computers, effectively shutting down their ability to record from Jan. 12-15, 2017. Trump was inaugurated on Jan. 20.

The U.S. is seeking extradition for Mihai Alexandru Isvanca, 25, and Eveline Cismaru, 28, who were arrested on Dec. 15, 2017, at the Otopeni airport in Bucharest, Romania. Three alleged co-conspirators were also arrested last month, according to CNN.

“This case was of the highest priority due to its impact on the Secret Service’s protective mission and its potential effect on the security plan for the 2017 Presidential Inauguration,” said Bill Miller, spokesman for U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu, in a statement.

The investigation found that ransomware variants “cerber” and “dharma” were stored on the computers and that the hackers allegedly planned to spread ransomware by email to at least 179,000 email addresses.

The computers were taken offline and no ransom was paid, according to the Washington Post.

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