A Romanian Woman Eveline Cismaru. 28, pled guilty to federal charges for illegally gaining access to more than 126 computers that connected to Surveillance cameras installed and used by Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) and infected them with ransomware.
She pled guilty before the Honorable Dabney L. Friedrich to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit computer fraud, carry statutory maximums of 20 years and five years in prison, Cismaru agrees to cooperate fully in the investigation and she is to be sentenced on Dec. 3, 2018.
Investigators arrested Cismaru, 28, and a co-defendant, Mihai Alexandru Isvanca, 25 in Romania, Cismaru extradited to the united states on July 26, 2018, and Isvanca pending extradition to the United States.
“According to the government’s evidence, beginning in early January 2017, and continuing through Jan. 12, 2017, a computer hacking attack on the MPD computer network disabled two-thirds of the outdoor surveillance cameras operated by MPD in the District of Columbia, just days before the 2017 Presidential Inauguration.” reads Department of Justice press release.
The ransomware locked down 126 computers connected to MPD surveillance cameras and shows ransom notes with instructions on how to unlock the computers by paying ransom in Bitcoin. The total estimated cost is $60,800.
Investigators also spotted that the conspirators were in the process of attacking as many as 179,616 other computers using stolen e-mails, e-mail passwords, and banking credentials.
The ransomware attack held on 2017 just before the day of Presidential Inauguration and due to the rapid response by investigators and MPD’s Chief Technology Office, the overall security of the 2017 Inauguration was not impacted by this event.