The US Marshals Service is recovering from a ransomware attack in February that affected systems used by fugitive hunters.



The U.S. Marshals Service is still recovering from a February ransomware attack on a computer system containing classified law enforcement data and will soon release a new version of the system with improved security, the watchdog said Monday. agency gave an interview to CNN.

U.S. Marshals Service spokesman Drew Wade told CNN in an email that “most of the critical equipment associated with the compromised computer network was restored within 30 days of the discovery of the breach in February.” The post office refused to explain what these essential tools are.

The hack affected a computer network used by a secretive Marshals Service unit called the Technical Operations Group (TOG), which provides surveillance capabilities to track fugitives, according to a person familiar with the matter. The group operates 29 field offices in the United States and Mexico and uses high-tech methods to track fugitives.

Wade declined to say whether he was influenced by TOG.

Wade said the hack did not affect the Marshal Service’s “general ability to apprehend fugitives, conduct investigations and other missions.”

But the week-long review shows the disruptive nature of ransomware attacks — which typically lock files so hackers can demand a ransom — and that these attacks can pose a direct threat to state law enforcement. – United.

The Washington Post first reported on the long-term effects of the hack and its involvement with TOG.

It is unclear who was behind the ransomware attack or whether the hackers demanded payment for the data stolen by the Marshals Service. Wade declined to comment, citing the ongoing investigation.

It is also unclear what data the hackers obtained; A previous statement from the Marshals Service said the data had been “exfiltrated” from the computer network.

The affected computer system contained “confidential law enforcement information,” including the personal information of Marshals Service investigative subjects and Marshals Service officers, Wade said in a Feb. 27 statement.

It was the second major malicious computer incident to affect US federal law enforcement in February.

The FBI was forced to act in early February to prevent malicious activity on part of the computer network, CNN first reported at the time. FBI officials believe the incident involved an FBI computer system used to investigate child sexual abuse images, two sources briefed on the matter told CNN.

There is no indication that the cyber incident at the Marshals Service and the FBI are connected.


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