AZUSA (CBSLA) — Critical personal information was exposed after Azusa Police Department was hit with a ransomware attack earlier this year.
(credit: Azusa Police Department)
Azusa police officials last week said they discovered some of its computer systems were inaccessible on March 9, and determined it was a ransomware attack, and some of its information was accessed by an unauthorized person. That information included Social Security, driver’s license, California ID, passport, and military ID numbers; financial account, medical, and health insurance information; and data collected from an automated license plate recognition system.
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It wasn’t clear whether the information of members of the public, arrestees, or employees was among the data exposed, and Azusa police did not say how many people may have been impacted.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the exposure may be more dire than Azusa police divulged. The newspaper reviewed documents posted on a dark web site by a ransomeware gang going by the name of DoppelPaymer, and found payroll files, a spreadsheet of gang member contacts, crime scene and booking photos, and investigative reports citing confidential informants.
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The FBI and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department are still working to determine the full scope of the data in the hands of hackers.
Ransomware and cyber attacks are on the rise across the country. An cyberattack on a pipeline last month sent gas prices skyrocketing on the East Coast, and another shut down nearly all of the nation’s biggest meat producers’ plants on Tuesday. Closer to home, the University of California and Kroger were among more than 100 organizations impacted by a cyberattack on firewall software that’s being retired.
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Azusa police say they refused to pay any ransom, and have taken steps to review its network security policies and enhance its security. The department say they are urging people to regularly review and monitor their credit reports. Anyone with questions or information about credit monitoring services can call (855) 535-1860 on weekdays from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.