Ransomware lashes out in Washington DC, kills 70% of CCTV cameras

Another day, another Ransomware. Yes, Ransomware seems to have been the order of the world with new kind cropping out every now and then. While we usually see Ransomware hitting out on large organizations this time it was something pretty different. A Ransomware infected 70 percent of storage peripherals associated to closed-circuit TV’s in Washington DC and all of this happened seven days before the inauguration of President Donald Trump.


Archana Vemulapalli, the city’s Chief Technology Officer, said the city paid no ransom and resolved the problem by taking the devices offline, removing all software and restarting the system at each site.

Statistically speaking the ransomware hit 123 of 187 network video recorders and it further forced the officials to erase the affected IT system. Each of the network video recorders was further controlling a total of four cameras thus the attack was quite large in scale. According to other sources, Public space cameras were not recording between 12 and 15 January. It’s good to see that the Washington police didn’t yield to the demand and instead wiped out the data in entirety, though this is debatable to a certain extent.

At this juncture, it’s also still not clear if the encrypted data was decrypted for free or if the Ransomware affected only the network devices. In any case, it’s an established fact that victims who are unable to restore encrypted data with clean backup’s need not end up paying the ransom and a variety of malware have already been defeated by white hack workers under the banner of No More Ransom Alliance. This alliance has been focussing on exploiting loopholes in Ransomware that would help then decrypt the data free of cost.

Efforts like No More Ransom Alliance are spearheading the anti ransomware fight. Ransomware has been one of the biggest threats looming large on the internet. The ransomware industry is pegged at $1 Billion and it only seems to be growing.

Most of the Ransomware find their way into your systems through executable macros in documents or even social engineering. In fact, this is one of the reasons why Google recently banned the javascript attachments in Gmail.

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Mahit Huilgol has been using Windows on PC and Mobile since long. He has been following Microsoft developments from close quarters and loves writing about it.

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