It has now emerged that hackers managed to gain control of about 70% of all the CCTV cameras in DC, thus jeopardising the surveillance operations of the local police prior to the presidential inauguration ceremony.
According to sources, hackers manage to infect about 123 of the total 187 cameras that the DC police use for surveillance purpose on January 12th which was just a few days o the presidential inauguration ceremony.
It has further been reported that the hackers gained control of the cameras by infecting them with an unidentified form of ransomware. The hackers are said to have put offline all the infected cameras for about 48 hours before the local police department discovered the flaw and corrected it.
According to the Chief Technology Officer of the city, Archana Vemulapalli, the hackers did not manage to access any of the computer systems of the local police department, regardless of the fact that they managed to bring some cameras down.
‘Although the hackers managed to disrupt the operation of our specific cameras, they did not gain access to the computer systems of the local police and the police department did not pay ransom to them,’ he said.
Further reports indicate that the IT department of the local police discovered the flaw soon after the hackers started taking down some of the CCTV cameras that the police use for public surveillance operations.
It has been reported that the IT department of the police then managed to identify two types of ransomware that the hackers were using to attempt to disrupt normal security operations and demand ransom from the local authorities.
It has been reported that the IT department of the local police managed to remove the two ransomware types from the system after systematically analysing all the individual cameras that had been taken down by the malware program.
Currently, it has been reported that the DC police is replacing the majority of its CCTV cameras across the city. Elsewhere, the police department has maintained that the incident did not compromise the security of the members of the public in any way.
According to Peter Newsham, the Interim Police Chief, the hacking and its timing did not have any impact on the operational capacity of the police.
Interestingly, the police department has remained scanty on the details about the attack, maintaining that it managed to correct it almost immediately and that the attack did not compromise the security of the public.
Currently, the Secret Service is conducting a detailed investigation into the incident to identify the hackers and determine the best course of action to be taken.