A Romanian citizen pleaded guilty Thursday for her role in a conspiracy to hack 126 computers associated with the Washington, D.C., police department’s surveillance cameras and “distribute ransomware.” According to the Justice Department, 28-year-old Eveline Cismaru pleaded guilty to “one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit computer fraud” after being arrested in Bucharest in December 2017. According to the DOJ, a hacking attack on the Metropolitan Police Department’s network in January 2017 disabled “two-thirds of the outdoor surveillance cameras” in D.C. while law enforcement were preparing for President Trump’s inauguration. “The computer intrusion was used to execute a ransomware attack,” a press release from the Justice Department reads. “Once activated, the ransomware locked 126 infected computers connected to MPD surveillance cameras. The ransomware then displayed instructions explaining how to unlock each computer by the payment of Bitcoin.” The ransom would have totaled an estimated $60,800, prosecutors said. Authorities also allege that the hackers were in the process of attacking up to 179,616 other computers using “stolen e-mails, e-mail passwords and banking credentials.” Cismaru’s co-defendant, 25-year-old Mihai Alexandru Isvanca, was also arrested in Bucharest but is being held there pending extradition. Cismaru faces up to 25 years in prison, and her sentencing is scheduled for December 2018.
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