Two people have been arrested in London in the hacking of storage devices that record data from D.C. police surveillance cameras, law enforcement authorities said Thursday.
The arrests were made in the south London neighborhood of Streatham and followed a search warrant that was served Jan. 19, the day before the presidential inauguration in the District.
Britain’s National Crime Agency, similar to the U.S. FBI, said in response to a question about the cyberattacks in the District that its agents had made the arrests. The names of the suspects, a man and a woman, were not divulged. British media, which first reported the arrests, indicated that each suspect is 50 years old and that the man is British and the woman is Swedish.
British officials said both suspects bailed out of jail. “Inquiries are ongoing and we are unable to provide further information at this time,” the statement from the National Crime Agency says.
D.C. officials said last week that the hack appeared to be an extortion effort that “was localized.” A spokeswoman for the D.C. mayor’s office also confirmed the arrests. No other details were divulged.
City officials revealed the hack last week and said ransomware had been left on the camera system between Jan. 12 and Jan. 15. The cyberattack affected 123 of the 187 network video recorders in the closed-circuit TV system for public spaces across the District.
Officials have said that public safety and security for the inauguration were not jeopardized. The officials also said that the city paid no ransom and resolved the problem by taking the devices offline, removing software and restarting the system.
Ransomware is malware that is said to be proliferating. It infects computers, often when users click on a link or open an attachment in an email. It then encrypts files or otherwise locks users out until they pay.
Clarence Williams contributed to this report.