According to Harriet Ryan of the Los Angeles Times, the recent breach of the Azusa California Police Department not only exposed a great deal of private data on the internet – it also revealed that the Police Department had experienced another incident as recently as 2018.
The previous breach was confirmed by city officials after the paper sent queries regarding the current attack. The previous attack was a ransomware incident in which a group of foreign hackers took control of a number of servers at the department, locking them out of their own dispatch system and other data storage. This incident reportedly went on for about one week with other organizations helping to cover the city’s 911 dispatch. Eventually the cybersecurity insurance provider paid the attackers $65,000 to unlock the server running the dispatch system.
This ransom almost seems small compared to demands made in similar attacks recently. The demand made in department’s current breach was over ten times as much. Paying the $65,000 ransom allowed digital forensic examiners from the insurance provider to analyze that system and locate the keys to decrypt the rest of the affected servers without paying additional ransom. The attack was eventually traced back to a single email attachment from a spoofed message which was opened by an employee.
Email: Phone: 703.359.0700
Digital Forensics/Cybersecurity/Information Technology