DC's surveillance system hit with hack attack before inauguration

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City officials and the Secret Service have confirmed that just days before the presidential inauguration, police surveillance cameras in Washington, DC were targeted by hackers. The system was unable to record footage between January 12 and 15, The Washington Post reported.

The infections prevented police from using 123 of its 187 video recorders between January 12 and January 15, briefly curbing law enforcement's ability to log footage captured by its network of surveillance cameras located in public places throughout the nation's capital, the Post reported.

Archana Vemulapalli, the city's Chief Technology Officer, said the city did not pay ransom and resolved the problem by taking the devices offline, removing all software and restarting the system at each site. They claim that the hack did not affect any criminal investigations. "Nothing got into our networks", she said.

Ransomware infects computers, usually when users click links or open email attachments, and then proliferates among a system.

The cyberattack suffered this month by the city's surveillance system is under investigation, the Post reported. The technology office discovered two forms of ransomware in the four recording devices and launched a citywide sweep of the network where they found more infected sites, said Vemulapalli. "There was no access from these devices into our environment and we are pretty confident about that", Vemulapalli said. "That was four straight days of nonstop work".

"We had cameras that were impacted all over the place".

However, city officials are also saying that they don't believe the hack affected other networks, and that there was "no significant impact" to this.