70% of Washington DC’s CCTV cameras infected with ransomware

Only eight days before US President Donald Trump’s inauguration, cyber criminals attacked Washington DC’s police surveillance cameras with ransomware, infecting 70 percent of the CCTV devices that store recorded data, city officials and the Secret Service confirmed on Friday, according to The Washington Post.

To get rid of the malware that affected 123 devices out of 187, the equipment had to be rebooted. From January 12 to 15 the system was offline, unable to record anything, as a result of the attack.

“City officials said ransomware left police cameras unable to record between Jan. 12 and Jan. 15. The cyberattack affected 123 of 187 network video recorders in a closed-circuit TV system for public spaces across the city, the officials said late Friday,” writes The Washington Post.

So far the investigation has revealed two ransomware variants were used in the attack, and the target is believed to have been extortion rather than access to the city’s security system. Once the system was taken offline and rebooted, the problem was fixed without paying ransom and denying the hackers access to the city’s computer networks, according to Archana Vermulapalli, Washington DC Chief Technology Officer.

City officials have not commented on the identity of the suspects, how the infection occurred or if any data was lost. However they reassure citizens the hack had “no significant impact.” An investigation is ongoing.

Ransomware attacks have increased and are expected to be grow further in 2017, especially on connected devices.


  • By lassmanac - Reply

    all they had to do was reboot? really? to get rid of ransomware? I find that a little hard to believe.

    • By ChansuRagedashi - Reply

      pretty sure ‘reboot’ in this article is code for ‘reformat, reinstall all software, and check to make sure it’s not on the HD bios’ especially seeing as most ransomware digs itself into the boot sector of the drive.

    • By Derek - Reply

      More than likely, they restored from a working backup from before the malware attack. They lose a few days of data but functionality is back.

    • By Nes - Reply


    • By Al - Reply

      Reboot…it can happen again
      Timing to get it fixed…hmmmm

    • By B - Reply

      Most of these devices can make no changes to OS files directly, only changing what’s in RAM. Rebooting the devices clears the RAM and therefore the virus that can only infect the data in RAM.

    • By David - Reply

      If you have backups, that really is all you have to do: wipe the system, and restore from a backup. The problem is, almost no one has current backups to their system that gets ransomware, which is why so many people are willing to pay cash to get their data back.

  • By Michael Okeefe - Reply


  • By Al - Reply

    Does anyone know where in the city? These things just dont happen without reason.

  • By Michael - Reply

    The definition of CCTV is
    Closed circuit television
    How in the heck does on hijack a camera system that is not really online?
    And what good would it do?
    This article is bs and marketing I bet 90% of their cameras are not cctv

  • By Air- wreck - Reply

    Trojan horse!

  • By Michael - Reply

    ‘ However they reassure citizens the hack had “no significant impact.” ‘

    Spooky Orwellian Language .


  • By Berry Jone - Reply

    These types of cases are exit in the worldwide when we use CCTV. So it,s better that we have to check CCTV cameras on daily bases.

  • By Cell Beat - Reply

    Why would it take 3 days just to reboot the system? Shouldn’t reboot be quick to get system back online as quick as possible to avoid any mishap from happening?

  • By ?????? ???????? - Reply

    Funny!! I don’t think that only rebooting will get the system fixed. right?

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