In a little reported story; days before President Trump’s inauguration a group of hackers managed to breach Washington D.C.’s surveillance camera network. The hackers infected the system with ransomware.  Law enforcement officials close to the investigation reported the network of cameras was affected eight days before President Trump was sworn into office. Suspiciously some of the Cameras also affected included ones located along the inaugural parade route. Can you imagine how dangerous that could have been for the president? Investigators were able to rid the system of ransom ware prior to inauguration day without paying money.  Therefore, the network was fully operational on Inauguration Day.

The way ransom ware works is hackers insert ransom ware software into your system which then shuts your system down. You then cannot operate your systems. You can’t access your files, pictures, or anything on your system unless you pay a fee. Often times that fee can be anywhere for tens of thousands of dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

I imagine the hackers knew the federal government would protect the president at all costs, and would pay whatever amount it took to get the system operational. It is not known how the government was able to access the cameras and bring them back online. This is a serious breach.

An investigation into the inaugural parade breach is ongoing and being run by the Secret Service. A separate law enforcement source described the cyber-attack to as emanating from overseas, and investigators have not ruled out the possibility this attack was carried out by a state sponsored actor. The implications are astounding. It’s hard to believe the White House could be affected by hackers.

The Washington Post was first to report on the DC camera breach. A system infected with ransom ware, makes the user unable to access the system itself or information stored on that system until some kind of digital ransom is paid.

Hackers carrying out these types of attacks typically give infected users a time window to pay up, or risk having their system wiped clean.

There have been a string of ransom ware attacks in recent years targeting individual users, as well as hospitals, private businesses, and municipalities across the country. This is the first time I have heard of hackers attacking a presidential inauguration. I wonder if hackers were really after money, or if this was something more nefarious.

It’s always highly recommenced to obtain and use good anti-virus software that provides protection against ransomware as well.

We are indeed living in dangerous times.


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