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EBRSO in ongoing battle with international ransomware group following cyber attack

1 month 3 weeks 3 days ago Wednesday, April 03 2024 Apr 3, 2024 April 03, 2024 4:43 PM April 03, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - The East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office released a statement regarding the breach of classified documents saying that the hacker only got screenshots of filed folders and still images of video files, but were quickly stopped before advancing too far into the network.

However, the breach may be larger than it's made out to be.

"I feel like they're in a little bit of denial about what's going on. Medusa, this particular ransomware group is not known for bragging about exploits that they haven't been successful at. So, I think it's extremely unlikely that they only got a partial of it or screenshots of files," Tammy Baker, with New Orleans and Southeast Information and Technology, said.

IT specialists say they know exactly what was taken because yesterday, Medusa, a ransomware group, released a sample file of the materials they obtained, on the dark web.

"I happened to be flipping through dark websites and anytime you see the word 'parish,' of course it sparks something of interest because that's something very unique to Louisiana. When I saw that it was East Baton Rouge Sheriff, then I knew right away that it was going to be something serious," Baker said.

WBRZ is told nearly 93 gigabytes of high-class information such as employee salary lists, mugshots of prisoners, driver's license's, and CCTV footage from inside the prison. 

Edmond Major, a local cyber-security researcher, says Medusa is located overseas in Russia and receives ransom funds through Bitcoin and cryptocurrency, making it difficult to track down individuals that are responsible for the hacks.

"These threat actors are making tens of millions, if not hundreds of millions of dollars a year," Major said.

He says the group announced Tuesday that they are demanding $300,000 from the sheriff's office, or they will release all of the documents to the public. They only have 8 days to do so.

"I mean, it's never good to pay it because it kind of just encourages these groups more, but I guess that's the state of cyber crimes these days," Major said.

Whether or not the office will pay is unknown, as it says it turned over the case to the FBI.

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