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Washington, D.C. CCTV Cameras Hacked Before Inauguration

The motivation for the attack appears to be financial, not political

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On the week before President Trump's inauguration, police surveillance cameras in Washington D.C. were taken down by hackers. According to the Secret Service, the attack affected 70 percent of the city's CCTV cameras, leaving them unable to record between January 12th and 15th. The cyberattack  targeted 123 out of the 187 network video recorders' storage devices.

Although happening right before the inauguration, the attack seemed to be financially motivated, and not political. The storage devices were infected with ransomware, a form of malware that renders a device inoperable until the hackers receive money from the victims. Archana Vemulapalli, the city’s Chief Technology Officer, said that the city did not pay the ransom, however. Instead, city officials took the devices offline, reinstalled their software, and restarted them.

Secret Service spokesman Brian Ebert said that the attack did not endanger public safety. DC police said that there was “no significant impact” from the cyberattack, and that it did not affect any current criminal investigations. Vermulapalli said that no other city networks appear to have been compromised. An investigation is ongoing, but neither the police nor the city have named a suspect in the attack.

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